The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology located in Juja will be home to a Sh 1.15 billion Sino-African Joint Research Centre and botanical garden.

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This is following the signing, of a memorandum earlier this week where the construction contract between the university and Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) Company Limited is set to begin next month.

The project funded by the Chinese government is aimed at fostering plant biodiversity research in the region while boosting human capacity through research and training. It will be put up on a 40-acre piece of land within JKUAT grounds and will take 16 months to complete.

Vice Chancellor Prof Mabel Imbuga said that ground-breaking for the project will take place in early December. 

The research laboratories according to Imbuga will greatly impact biodiversity research in respective areas including plant ecology, plant systematic and evolutionary biology, and plant oleculariology.

SCG’s General Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa, Zheng Lei assured that the initiative is a strong symbol of friendship between Kenya and China.

“This research centre will further deepen cooperation between our people and we intend to make it the best botanical garden in Kenya,” Zheng added.

Bertha Dena who represented the Council assured the commitment of the University in the implementation of the project, stating that the project held great potential in terms of research for JKUAT urging the company to work within the construction timelines and deliver the project on schedule in order to assist everyone .