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Plans for East African-German University stalled

Plans to establish a much-awaited binational university of applied sciences in Kenya fronted by the government of Germany have been put on hold, following a decision to draft a new concept document for the institution first mooted four years ago.

The declaration of intent to establish the university was signed at the German-African Business Summit in Nairobi (pictured). Photo: flickr/ninara

DAAD and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs have expressed concerns over the delay

The concept document for the Eastern African-German University of Applied Sciences, drafted by the Ministry of Education in Kenya will be shared with German implementing agencies including the country’s embassy in Nairobi, the German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD) and proposed partner universities.

“The future German partner universities await the new proposal”

The bodies must wait for the completion of the document, which required input from various government agencies according to Ursula Koos, head of Cultural Affairs section at the German Embassy Nairobi.

“A new project concept note had been written, but the coordination process within the Ministry of Education is still on-going,” she said.

“The German Embassy, DAAD and the future German partner universities await the new proposal,” the official told The PIE News, without disclosing further details.

Once the document is out it will inform the next course of action in efforts to fast-track setting up of the model institution, Koos noted.

The university touted as the first of its kind in the world was conceived as part bilateral of relations between Kenya and Germany to bring to Africa the German model of applied sciences in university education.

It was expected to take students from across the Eastern Africa region, hosted and financed by Kenya with a German partner university facilitating knowledge transfer, and for purposes of benchmarking.

DAAD and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs have expressed concerns over its delay, and frustration that progress was painfully slow.

The agency lamented that plans for the university had stalled since 2017 with no progress despite the German side being ready to sign the intergovernmental agreement to set up the institution.

While lack of progress in 2017 was blamed on general elections in Kenya, the total lack of progress could not be explained according to Helmut Blumbach, then director of the DAAD Africa office in Nairobi.

While the Kenya project has stalled, plans for a similar project in north Africa between Germany and Egypt are underway.

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