Thursday, April 4, 2024

On Wednesday, April 3, 2024, the University of Nairobi held a kick-off consultancy meeting of stakeholders to establish the Centre for Land Acquisition and Resettlement Studies that will be based at Kilimani. The stakeholders including the Government through Kenya National Highways Authority, the World Bank, Kenya School of Government and the AKI consultants met and deliberated on the way forward and the different roles that each organization has to play for the success of the project.

‘This journey started 8 years ago, when the University recovered its piece of land in Kilimani through the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. The World Bank has offered the University Kshs. 1B for the establishment of this Centre of Excellence.’ announced Prof. Edward Ontinta from the Department of Sociology and the lead point person of this initiative. Prof. Ontita also announced that, ‘We recently made a call for application to the course and it was oversubscribed by 30 participants from over 8 countries. Kenya and the UoN is playing a lead role in the area of capacity building.’

World Bank representatives from the Horn of Africa Initiative and Roads noted that, ‘The World Bank supports human capital development initiatives, no country has ever developed without investing in its human capital. We are proud to be associated with this center that will serve the whole continent on the area of Land Acquisition and Resettlement.’

He urged the University to ensure that the project is completed within the agreed time frame and budget.  

Speaking at the site, the VC, Prof. Stephen Kiama, expressed immense gratitude for the grant and noted that 3 years is such a short time for the completion of the project. Therefore, he called on concerted efforts for all the parties involved to get the Institute going. He called on the designers to consider borrowing some iconic elements of other University building while designing the Centre. He also pledged the Management’s support to the successful implementation and establishment of the Centre. 

Prof. Kiama noted that this transformative initiative will fill a gap; an area of social safeguard that hasn’t been executed well in the past. The University is ready to train the continent on this area of land acquisition and resettlement.

On his part, Eng. Gakuru, Director, KENHA, appreciated the World Bank Horn of Africa team and the CELARS team for the collaboration. He also congratulated the consultants that had won the bid and pledged to play a leadership role on the implementation of the project.

AKI Consultants, a representative from the Kenya School of Government and the University’s Faculty of Engineering were also present during the meeting.