In Kenya, the DAAD supports two “Centers of African Excellence,” one being the “Kenyan German Center for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management” (CEMEREM) at the Taita Taveta University. CEMEREM is a joint project of the Dresden University of Applied Sciences and the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg.
Kenya is rich in natural resources such as gold, iron, zinc, coal, and petroleum. So far, however, there has been a lack of knowledge on how to use the resources sustainably. There are also hardly any suitable training centers for everything to do with mining, geosciences, and environmental technology.
The DAAD Alumnus Vice-Chancellor of TTU, Professor Fred Barasa, and the DAAD Alumna Professor Christine Onyango at the Taita Taveta University (TTU ), invited the director of the Nairobi regional office, Beate Schindler-Kovats, to CEMEREM. However, though the visit had to be postponed several times due to COVID-19, it finally took place on 7 March 2022!
The TTU started as Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Taita Taveta Campus in 2007 and received the charter of a full university in 2016. The bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs are based on a particular focus and profile: a center for engineering education in mining and mineral processing.
A round table discussion with the university management and the teaching and research staff of the TTU discussed academic cooperation, including the scientific and intercultural exchange between students and professors. Regularly, students and guest lecturers visit TTU. Likewise, CEMEREM students spend semesters for teaching and research at the partner universities in Germany.
CEMEREM has developed courses that correspond to the specific profile and are unique in the region, also indicated by a rather convincing tour of the extensive campus laboratories, well equipped with support from Germany. Support also includes Ph.D. cooperation and the formation of networks between industrial partners in Germany and East Africa to provide the know-how for the job market.
In discussions with students and researchers, there was great interest in cooperation with German partners and the DAAD funding programs. The afternoon event on “Study and Research” in Germany was well attended and marked the end of a long, intensive day.