The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Water, Sanitization and Irrigation Hon. Sicily Kariuki on Wednesday October 27th officially flagged off students traveling to Israel for an 11 months Advanced Agricultural Training at the Arava International Centre for Agriculture Training (AICAT).

Since 2016 when President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an MoU between Kenya and the State of Israel, The University of Nairobi among other Agricultural, Water and Irrigation Training institutions in Kenya have sent over 440 Agricultural students to the Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training (AICAT) to study an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture and Agribusiness.

In her speech, the Cabinet Secretary emphasized that imparting knowledge is the starting point of the AICAT program. She urged the students to turn the knowledge and skills they will acquire in Israel beyond white collar jobs and embrace self-employment and Agripreneurship. The students were also urged to train other youth back at home the skills they will learn in Israel when they return. Hon Sicily Kariuki noted that Kenyan students have been applauded for performing and excelling very well in the program and this had led to an increase in the quota every year. She congratulated the University/Institutes Coordinators involved in the selection of the students and wished the students the very best in their studies.

The UoN Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama represented all the other Vice Chancellors from Egerton, Kenyatta, JKUAT, University of Embu, and the Kenya Water Institute at the ceremony. In his speech, Prof. Kiama appreciated the Israel Government for enrolling more students to the program. He gave his commitment to ensure the program succeeds and wished all the students the very best.

The UoN Dean of Students Mr. Johnson Kinyua in his speech highlighted the statistics for the program since 2017. In 2017, UoN sent the first cohort of 10 students to Israel, in 2018, 15 students and in 2019, 19 students from the University of Nairobi’s Faculty of Agriculture. Over the years, the number of students the University of Nairobi has sent to Israel has increased with 2020 being the year with the highest number of students from UoN that have qualified for the program (50 Students).

For the year 2021, Kenya has been offered 200 slots which is the highest since the program began 50 being from UoN. It is a sign of confidence the Government of the State of Israel has with Kenya and this has cemented our bilateral relationship with Israel.

Other guests present at the ceremony were the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Mr. Joseph Irungu, CAS Water, Sanitation & Irrigation Dr. Andrew Tuimur, the Deputy Ambassador State of Israel in Kenya, Dvora Dorsman Yarkoni, Program Coodinators from all Institutions sending students to Israel and representatives of the students.

We wish all the Kenyan students admitted to the AICAT program the very best and a safe journey to Israel on October 31st, November 1st and November 2nd 2021 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd flights respectively.