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World renowned Kenyan-born scholar Calestous Juma dies in Boston, USA

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BY BMJ MURIITHI and Agencies

Renowned scholar and Havard University lecturer Prof Calestous Juma is dead.

Prof Juma, who was listed among most reputable on earth in 2017, died in Boston, in the US. A family member confirmed the sad news in an interview with KSN Friday.

“It is indeed true and very sad. Prof has been sick for two years and has succumbed to the ailment,” she said and promised to give more details later.

Prof Juma, who until his death was teaching at Harvard University, was the only Kenyan to be listed in the inaugural list of “2017 Most Reputable People on Earth”.

US-based Kenyan scholar Calestous Juma who has died while undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts. The Harvard professor was listed in the inaugural list of “2017 Most Reputable People on Earth”.

Prof Juma died while undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts.

UNWELL FOR A WHILE

“Prof has been unwell for the past two years and today we received the sad news of his passing. Any more details will come from his family,” lawyer Peter Wanyama told a Kenyan daily.

According to Mr Wanyama, Prof Juma’s mother was buried just two weeks ago, but because of his sickness, he was not able to attend the funeral.

“He had, however, told me that he was planning to travel to the country in the early part of next year. Unfortunately, that will not be possible,” Mr Wanyama said.

INTELLECTUAL GIANT

 

Prof Juma was one of the most sought after experts in the field of application of science, technology and innovation to sustainable development in developing and developed countries.

A public intellectual, he was very prolific in social media, frequently sharing his writings on Twitter.

In the June list of fame, Prof Juma featured alongside luminaries such as Bill Gates, Barack and Michelle Obama and the Pope.

It was not the first time that Prof Juma was being picked for honours.

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS

In 2012, 2013 and 2014 he had been listed among the most influential 100 Africans by the New African magazine.

The Budalang’i-born scholar began his career as a science teacher in Mombasa between 1974 and 1978 before becoming the first science and environment journalist for Daily Nation between 1978 and 1979.

He later started his own magazine, Ecoforum.

He later worked as an editor and researcher at the Environment Liaison Centre in Nairobi between 1979 and 1982.

The scientist, who attained a teacher’s certificate from Egoji Teacher’s College in 1974, also held a PhD in Science Policy Research from the University of Sussex.

At the time of his dearth, he was teaching graduate courses on science, technology and development policy and biotechnology at Harvard University.

Juma, a Professor of the Practice of International Development, was  the Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalisation Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Faculty Chair of the Mason Fellows Program.

He also directed the Center’s Agricultural Innovation Policy in Africa Project and Health Innovation Policy in Africa projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition, he served as Faculty Chair of the Edward S. Mason Fellows Program as well as Faculty Chair of the “Innovation for Economic Development” and “Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa” executive programmes.

“I have received the news of the passing on of my friend, compatriot and a role model Professor Calestous Juma, with a deep sense of great personal loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed tweeted.

Michael Lesnick of Valley Cottage, NY  wrote: Tremendously saddened by today’s news that long-time friend and colleague, Calestous Juma, has died. I and we at Meridian had the great pleasure of working with Calestous since 1987 way back when he was still working out of Kenya and founder of the African Centre for Technology Studies. Named as one of the world’s 100 most influential Africans and a good, good man. Truly saddened. The world has lost a bright light.

May you rest in peace, Professor Juma.

“We are sad to hear of the passing of Harvard’s Professor @Calestous Juma. Not only was he an inspiration but helped us in many way ways. May his soul rest in peace,” iAfrican, a news outlet dedicated to science, technology & innovation in Africa, which were close to his heart, tweeted.

The late Prof Calestous Juma

 

Juma is a former Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi.

He co-chaired the African Union’s High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation. He is on the jury of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, and the Africa Food Prize.

During his scholarly journey, Dr Juma was elected to several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the African Academy of Sciences.

He also won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. He holds a doctorate in science and technology policy studies and has written widely on science, technology, and environment.

Juma served on the boards of several international bodies including the Aga Khan University and the Pan-African University and was the editor of the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and theInternational Journal of Biotechnology. His new book, Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

 

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Business

Why I switched to organic farming

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Sylvia Miloyo started faming as soon as she completed her undergraduate studies in community development.

This is because farming was her first love. But there was a problem.

Like many farmers, she used pesticides and fertilisers which were chemical-based and readily available in the market.

Four years into the venture, she had read so much about  the negative effects of the use of chemical-based farming inputs that she vowed to get a solution for it.

This prompted her into becoming an organic farmer.

She transformed her farm into an organic farming set-up using her savings.

“As of acquiring skills, I just practiced, did a lot of reading and attended short trainings at Real IPM in Thika,” said Sylvia who also holds a Diploma in Business Management.

In this type o farming, she had to include a variety of crops, mainly vegetables.

“In organic farming, you never really mono crop. I have never practiced mono cropping but prefer to grow at least 15 to 20 types of vegetables at every one point,” she said.

According to Ms Miloyo, organic food is healthy for humans and animals . She practices farming in her two farms in Limuru (five acres) and Mai Mahiu (10 acres).

Since adopting organic farming, she says she has attracted clients who she says “are about what they eat and want to only consume safe products.”

According to the White Paper Report on Pesticide use in Kenya, Pesticides are widely distributed in the environment (like air, soil, water and plants) and as a result, water and soil quality are decreasing and there is an increase in chronic health effects that are suggested to be related to pesticide exposure.

“Many pesticides are either acutely toxic, have long-term toxic effects, are endocrine disrupters (acting on the hormone system), are toxic to different wildlife species or are known to cause a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects,” reads part of the survey.

Ms Miloyo sells her produce mainly through home delivery based on requests.

“Many of our clients are middle class working people and our pricing is very similar with conventional farming, so we basically sell to everyone.”

She noted that takes at least three to years to convert from conventional farming to organic farming.

This also comes with the challenge of battling with pests and diseases in the beginning before you create a micro climate and have a natural balance, where you no longer have too many pests to deal with.

“Market can be an issue for organic suppliers because the populace are not well educated on the benefits of organic farming.”

In order to meet the demands of all her clients, she has an outlet in Nairobi, from where she sells her produce.

She has established dams to collect rain water as well as a borehole for irrigation.

By Nation.co.ke

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Health

Former NMG journalist laid to rest

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Former Nation Media Group journalist Timothy Kipngetich Kemei was laid to rest on Tuesday.

During the burial event, Kimei was eulogised as a young hard working journalist and a role model to many.

Local leaders including Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ngeno, Kericho County Assembly Speaker Dominic Rono, Leader of Majority Hezron Ngetich and Kapsoit MCA Paul Chirchir attended the ceremony in Tulwab Moi village.

Until his death, Kimei was Kericho County government’s chief public relations officer.

He died late last month while undergoing first aid at Siloam Hospital after an asthma attack.

He was rushed to hospital by his wife and a colleague at around midday, but passed away while doctors attempted to resuscitate him.

He got the first attack at 3 am on Sunday and was rushed to hospital where he was stabilised and discharged.

He developed a second attack at around midday and did not recover from it.

He is survived by his wife Mercy and a two-year-old son

By Nation.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Garissa man drowns while shooting YouTube video

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The body of a 20-year-old Garissa resident has been retrieved from River Tana today, County Red Cross Manager Mohammed Dubow has confirmed.

Mr Abdullahi Mukhtar is said to have drowned in the river three days ago after he slipped while shooting a video.

“We have been searching for his body since the first day with no success, but today we managed to retrieve his body and it is now with the family,” said Mr Dubow, who was in charge of the search.

Mr Mukhtar is said to have been in the company of his brother and sister before he slipped and drowned.

The siblings were shooting a YouTube video when the incident happened.

His family declined to comment on the matter.

By nation.co.ke

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