Dates: 12 – 18 December 2021
Theme: An environmental management system for Taita Taveta County as a pilot project for East Africa
CEMEREM has come of age and is elated to hold its inaugural alumni seminar in Voi, Kenya, over the period 12 – 18 December 2021.
Virtual participation is possible from December 13, 2021 – starting 08:30 AM EAT/Nairobi time. Register in advance for virtual participation using the LINK IS HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Launched in 2016 with funds from the DAAD, the Kenyan-German Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management (CEMEREM) was premised on the urgent need to meet the growing deficit in practice-oriented resources engineers and natural resource managers in East Africa, the first one in the league of DAAD Centres of African Excellence to be engineering-oriented.
CEMEREM is a joint project of Taita Taveta University (TTU), the University of Applied Sciences Dresden (HTWD) and TU Bergakademie Freiberg. It is hosted at Taita Taveta University, within a mineral-rich region experiencing conflicts and competitions between different land-use, environmental and economic rights. CEMEREM implements training and research activities in Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management to bridge the deficit in practice-oriented engineers and natural resource managers in East Africa.
About six years later, CEMEREM has sponsored postgraduate training and produced alumni to a degree that can generate and share key lessons to help calibrate and cross-fertilise policy and strategic responses in favour of promoting quality research, internationalisation and change by exchange. These are key result areas of interest to the DAAD. This alumni seminar will boost outcomes with key deliverables on these strategic areas of capacity development in Africa.
Besides equipment support for quality education and research, CEMEREM has produced alumni in the specialist areas of mining and natural resource management. It has also successfully organised five summer schools for students and academic staff – three in Germany and two in Kenya.
What to Expect
Over the period 12 – 18 December 2021, DAAD alumni from all over the world, academics and students, and other invited key stakeholders will converge in Voi, Kenya, for the first CEMEREM Alumni Seminar hosted by Taita Taveta University. The hybrid seminar will feature presentations from academics, researchers, key decision-makers from national and county governments, DAAD/CEMEREM alumni and university students.
Objectives and Activities
This inaugural CEMEREM Alumni Seminar has been designed to meet the following specific objectives in line with the vision and mission of CEMEREM.
- Share evidence-based research findings on the local natural resource management challenges in Taita Taveta as real-world local scenarios to inform effective measures towards sustainable Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in East Africa.
- Invite and generate dialogue between industry experts, researchers, CEMEREM and DAAD alumni, academics, students, policymakers, and local communities as a means to achieving sustainable development and management of natural resources in East Africa.
- Expose CEMEREM students and alumni to cross-country and cross-cultural mentorship and skills in innovative and society-facing research.
- Provide a foundation of lessons to be adapted for the success of subsequent CEMEREM Alumni Seminars to be held in the region.
- Contribute to expanding a functional alumni network of DAAD Centres of African Excellence, hence boosting collaborative research and projects in Africa.
The main activities that will aid in achieving the objectives are:
- Introductory lectures
- Presentations by stakeholders
- A brainstorming session by participating alumni
- Visits to laboratories at Taita Taveta University and key study sites within the County
- Field excursions showcasing challenges in mining and natural resource management challenges in Taita Taveta
- Cultural events for cultural exchange
Policy and Technology Relevance of the Seminar
East Africa is a resource-rich region enjoying ecological and cultural diversity, but at the same time bearing the burden of rapid population growth in Africa. The greater Eastern African bloc is also the most populous of all the regional blocs in Africa, boasting more than 440 million inhabitants. Not spared the brunt of climate change, the region is simultaneously bearing the burden of rising ecological footprints and food demand.
Against the backdrop of the ravaging locust invasion and COVID-19, there is a new compelling need to enhance the conservation and management of the region’s limited soil, water, forest and energy resources to meet the needs of the growing populations, who mainly depend on agriculture and natural resources. Enhancing research, education and training in the disciplinary areas dealing with sustainable environmental and natural resource management is, therefore, an urgent collective goal for universities and governments in East Africa.
The inaugural CEMEREM Alumni Seminar will showcase environmental and resource management examples of key interest to governments in East Africa. Not only will challenges be shared by experts, lecturers, policymakers, and students, but solutions will also be proffered based on researched evidence. The timing of the seminar is strategic, meant to capture the spirit of environmental stewardship just after the recently concluded COP 26 climate change convention in Glasgow. The imperative of collective environmental responsibility and stewardship will be emphasised. Hosting the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Kenya has been a key trendsetter of environmental advocacy in the region. The vantage Kenyan location of the inaugural CEMEREM Alumni Seminar is strategic in this sense as well. This is, therefore, a timely seminar worth attending – both physically and virtually.
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