The University of Nairobi’s Annual Research Week for the Faculty of Science and Technology was one for the books. The virtual conference that began on the 26th of October 2022, themed ‘Emerging Research and Technologies for Sustainable Development in Society’ was attended by doyens in the science and technology industry, all of whom have greatly contributed to the sustainability of technology for the continuous growth of society.
One such doyen in attendance was Prof. Francis Mutua tasked with a keynote address that critically analyzed and discussed “Water for Sustainable Development in Changing Environments”. Mr.Mutua first began by addressing the issue of ignorance which he blamed for being the biggest enemy towards sustainability. This is our inability to acknowledge our key role in determining the depletion or continuous growth of resources, this is perhaps one of mankind’s greatest undoing because it has forced mankind to leave in a false sense of bliss while our natural resources continue to be depleted and suffer the wrath of our ignorance.
Prof. Mutua also analyzed the cycle of sustainability emphasizing the need for us to realize that almost everything produced in the industries and factories uses water in its processes of production. This therefore creates a need for us to ensure its sustainability, seeing how heavily the world relies on this resource. He analyzes the main challenges affecting sustainability in Kenya and out of the eight greatly emphasizes on our corruption as a nation, our lack of ethical values and the lack of motivation to support lasting change in industrial architecture. Through his presentation it was clear as day that the biggest challenge facing sustainability here in Kenya was us, as citizens.
Another keynote address of importance was delivered by Prof. Abiy Yinesew , a professor of chemistry at the University of Nairobi. He discussed a more technical topic ‘Rotenoids from Millettia Species – Structure, Stereochemistry and Biological Activity’ . Prof. Abiy engaged the audience in an informative presentation that dived into the structures of Rotenoids, their species and of course their biological activity and their newly found importance as a developing technology in the world. He went on to discuss how they contribute to the sustainable development in the society.
The week long event witnessed the presentation of over 70 paper presentations, 2 webinars and numerous short lectures by researchers.
The conference brought together two important aspects of knowledge: the theory and the application, both equally important for the realization of the need for change and charting the next steps towards it. All the great minds featured at the conference exemplified the importance of sharing ideas to foster one big cooperation and aligned flow of thought in this greatly challenged society. A demonstration that while small is beautiful big is relevant.