ISTC and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) launch an Essay Competition for young African experts

Kenya is soon to become the first African country to join ISTS. To celebrate this occasion ISTC and KEBS launched on 22 October 2021 an Essay Competition for young African experts and practitioners on the topic: ‘How international cooperation can boost research and development in my area of expertise?’ The results of the contest are to be announced during the upcoming Regional Metrology Conference, scheduled to take place from 6th through 10th December 2021, in Mombasa, Kenya.

At the online launching event ISTC Executive Director David Cleave expressed satisfaction from the state and the prospects of ISTC activities in Kenya and in East Africa. ISTC has worked to help strengthen the capacity of Kenyan authorities for secure and safe peaceful use of nuclear energy and applications. One example in this regard is the EU-funded ISTC-managed Project – 60 Support to the EU CBRN Center of Excellence in East and Central Africa in Nuclear Safety. ISTC has the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) as its institutional Partner, while KEBS ponders to seek the same status. Equally important are professional organizations that ISTC has as partners in Kenya, such as the Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear (KYGN) or the East Africa Association of Radiation Protection (EAARP)..

On behalf of KEBS Dr. Henry Rotich, Director, and Mr. Josephat Bangi, Senior Manager – Metrology, outlined the important role their organization plays to boost science, research and innovation through the supply, maintenance and calibration of measurement instruments and equipment. KEBS works to increase the level of awareness and knowledge of various constituencies, particularly the youth. In this vein KEBS conducts trainings and workshops, such as the one on "Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security" in 2018, at Mombasa town, to which ISTC was one of the sponsors.

On behalf of KYGN its founding president Pamela Kageliza evoked the chronology of joint actions with ISTC that included the establishment of the African Young Generation in Nuclear, the international integrated workshop on nuclear advocacy and communication in the framework of the EU project MC 5.01/15B on nuclear safety, the university conference during the working visit of ISTC Management to Kenya in 2019, etc. In his turn, Wilson Kairu, EAARP President, commended the ISTC – KEBS Essay Competition, and expressed expectations that the submitted essays will provide lots of new ideas for cooperation with ISTC that young researches and practitioners would like to engage in.

The launching event was moderated by Dr. David Otwoma, NACOSTI Chief Analyst, who is the National Contact Point for Kenya’s participation in ISTC.