News Report

Moi University with Donghua University of China Co-Hosts an International Symposium on Textiles and Apparel

saista2021 group photo at CIMUMoi University’s Africa Center of Excellence in Phytochemicals, Textile, and Renewable (ACEII-PTRE) jointly with Donghua University, China held a two day Sino-Africa virtual international symposium on Textiles and Apparel (SAISTA). The symposium, themed ‘Green Textile Technology and Sustainable Development’, kicked off on Friday November 5, 2021 and concluded on Saturday November 6, 2021. Its main focus was on the progress of textile and apparel technologies with emphasis on health and environmental protection. This is in line with the 2015 decision reached by Donghua University and Moi University, to convene an annual SAISTA, alternating between China and Kenya or other African countries.
In 2016, Sino-Africa Cultural Exchange Forum (SACEF) was added to SAISTA for purposes of reinforcing Sino-Africa people-to-people exchange and collaborations in softer sciences, hence contributing to the friendly relationships between China and African countries. SACEF works towards providing a platform for textile and apparel professionals from universities, research institutions and industry to promote collaboration between China and Africa, and to explore potential business opportunities and cultural exchanges. For this reason, in the conference parallel sessions, discussions were centered on textiles for emergency prevention, textiles of the future, green and advanced textile engineering, and functional fiber materials.
In his opening remarks, Moi University’s Vice chancellor - Prof. Isaac Sanga Kosgey noted that “The concepts of Green Textile Technology and Sustainable Development continue to fascinate researchers and industrialists who continue to search for new leads in sustainable industrial bio-discoveries such as textiles for medical applications, organic fibers, industrial enzymes, dyes and bio-chemicals, among others”. It thus strongly resonates with Moi University’s vision to be the University of choice in nurturing innovation and talent in science, technology and development. In structuring the economy, “countries looking ahead in their post-pandemic strategies should not ignore the textile and apparel industry as it can still create jobs and spur further industrialization in countries recovering from covid-19 pandemic” said the representative from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr. Riccardo Savigliano. This effort, Dr. Savigliano reiterated would require changes such as collaborations between different actors in the textile and apparel chain among them Universities and industry players who can facilitate knowledge exchange, enhance green skills development, along with technical and businesses innovations. This year’s international conference registered a total of 72 research papers covering a wide range of topics which has implications on the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas and fostering international cooperation between China and Africa.
In the previous year 2020, Moi University hosted SAISTA 2020 jointly with Donghua University that became the landmark of ACEII-PTRE’s first virtual International conference. The 2020 forum saw the publication of six conference proceedings containing hundreds of papers contributing to heated deliberated topics in the thematic areas. While comparing this year’s symposium with last year’s, ACEII-PTRE Center leader, Prof. Ambrose Kiprop said that the Center is moving towards the right direction in terms of knowledge transfer owing to the large number of global scholars and industry players coming together under one platform to exchange ideas on innovations that can potentially encourage international communication and cooperation in the field of textiles, apparel, and cultural exchange. SAISTA 2021 attracted educators, researchers and professionals from Africa, China and the rest of the world including Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, France, Zimbabwe, and Japan. The event was also graced by Senior Education Specialist & Task Leader representative from World Bank - Ms. Ruth Charo who reminded the conference attendees that the world is in an urgent need of a green economy and one of the ways of achieving this is through the development of advanced green skills, research and innovation. “In the context of the green economy the tertiary systems are increasingly expected to develop the skills and innovations that are needed to sustain a green and inclusive economic growth. We therefore need to steer the tertiary education systems towards optimizing their contribution to equitable and green growth agenda and I do believe this is at the heart of this conference” Ms. Charo declared.
It is in the future plans of Moi University and Donghua University to organize more of such events. “Looking ahead, we are committed to deepen our collaboration and cooperation in advancing technology development and innovation in the cardinal priority areas working together, a better future, a shared community and a deepened understanding between Chinese and Kenya people” stated the President of Donghua University - Prof. Yu Jianyon. Donghua University, China, and Moi University, Kenya, are partners of the Sino-Africa 20+20 University Cooperation Project dubbed China-Africa Cooperation Sharm El Sheikh Action Plan.

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