Chinese Academy of Sciences hands over lab equipment to Kenyan university
Bai Chunli (3rd R), president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Bulitia Godrick (2nd L), deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academic and student affairs at Maasai Mara University (MMU), attend an unveiling ceremony of the MMU-CAS Joint Research Laboratories at MMU, about 145 kilometers southeast of the capital Nairobi, Kenya, on Sept. 4, 2019. (Xinhua/Lyu Shuai)
NAROK, Kenya, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Wednesday handed over state of the art laboratory equipment to Kenya's Maasai Mara University that is located about 145 kilometers southeast of the capital Nairobi.
Bai Chunli, president of CAS was joined by senior government officials and the university's administrative and teaching staff during the handing over ceremony that took place on the sidelines of an international conference on biodiversity.
The modern laboratory equipment will boost the capacity of Maasai Mara University faculty members and students to carry out cutting edge research that benefits communities.
Wang Qingfeng, director of CAS affiliated Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC) said the laboratory equipment will aid research and development of natural products to address the health and nutritional needs of local communities.
"The lab will provide scientific support to the breeding of medicinal plants and screening of natural pharmaceutical chemistry," said Wang.
He said that SAJOREC has supported the establishment of a medicinal plant garden in Maasai Mara University as part of a joint venture to promote biodiversity protection.
Mohamed Elmi, chief administrative secretary in Kenya's ministry of environment and forestry, hailed the modern lab equipment saying it will boost scientific research aimed at tackling challenges like habitat loss, hunger and disease.
He said that Kenya is keen to harness knowledge and innovations from China to promote conservation of vital ecosystems like forests and wetlands.
Bulitia Godrick, deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academic and student affairs at Maasai Mara University, said the modern lab equipment will enable students to become part of the solution to major environmental challenges in the country.
"The students are being given a chance through this lab to sort some of the biggest threats to our natural resources, for example the hyacinth weed in Lake Victoria," said Godrick.
He said the fully equipped laboratory will provide space for young learners to innovate and aid government efforts to provide citizens with clean drinking water and green energy.