On 28th May Leaders and experts gathered at Safari Park Hotel for a pivotal public lecture themed ‘Setting National Priorities – More Money or More Value for Money,’ organized by Karatina University in collaboration with State Department for Economic Planning and the Copenhagen Consensus Centre. The event aimed to chart a course towards smarter, more impactful investments in Kenya’s economic future. The successful event was organized by the Research Mobilization and International Programs Director, Prof. Kellen Kiambati alongside other members of Karatina University.

The distinguished guests during the event

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Linus Gitonga, opened the proceedings with a stirring call for collaborative national planning aimed at sustainable development. He emphasized the university’s commitment to research-driven policy formulation and its pivotal role in supporting Kenya’s journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the other hand, Eng. David Okeyo, Acting Chairman of Council at Karatina University, followed with remarks highlighting the university’s readiness to undertake comprehensive research initiatives that align with Kenya’s developmental aspirations. His address underscored the importance of bridging the gap between policy formulation and implementation to ensure tangible socio-economic benefits for all Kenyans.

Ag. Council Chairman Eng. David Okeyo addressing the audience during the Public Lecture

The Economic Planning Secretary, Mr. Timothy Gakuu, represented the Principal Secretary, Mr. James Muhati, from the State Department for Economic Planning. In his speech, Mr. Gakuu elaborated on Kenya’s strategic objectives under the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). He outlined the government’s commitment to prioritizing investments in key sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and infrastructure to foster inclusive growth and economic resilience.

The Economic Planning Secretary Mr. Timothy Gakuu addressing the audience on behalf of the Principal Secretary State Department for Economic Planning.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, President of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre and renowned author of ‘The Best Things First.’ Dr. Lomborg framed the discussion around prioritizing policies that deliver maximum social and economic returns, such as education and maternal healthcare. “Kenya Priorities First,” he emphasized, urging stakeholders to identify and invest in initiatives that promise efficiency and sustainability.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, President Copenhagen Consensus Centre addressing the audience

Looking ahead, the consensus among participants pointed towards a concerted effort to prioritize impactful development initiatives, ensuring that policies are not only well-conceived but effectively implemented to maximize societal benefits. Karatina University, backed by its research capabilities and academic leadership, stands ready to play a pivotal role in advancing these objectives, particularly in aligning research outcomes with the SDGs.

In closing, Dr. Beatrice Inyangala, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Higher Education and Research, delivered remarks that resonated with the audience. She reiterated the significance of evidence-based policymaking in steering Kenya towards its development goals. “Today’s discussions have underscored the critical importance of evidence-based policymaking in driving our national development agenda forward,” she affirmed. Dr. Inyangala committed her ministry to supporting rigorous research and evaluation efforts discussed during the lecture, emphasizing the need for stakeholder engagement and robust economic analyses.

From left: Economic Planning Secretary Mr. Timothy Gakuu, President Copenhagen Consensus Centre Dr.Bjorn Lomborg, the VC Prof. Linus M. Gitonga, PS State Department for Higher Education Dr. Beatrice Inyangala and the VC Embu University Prof. Mugendi pose for a photo

With Vice Chancellors from Machakos University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, Embu University, and Karatina University in attendance, alongside council members from Karatina University and other distinguished guests, the event fostered robust dialogue and collaboration across academic, governmental, and private sectors.

In conclusion, Dr. Inyangala extended gratitude to all stakeholders and partners, including the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, Karatina University, and KIPPRA, for their contributions to the success of the public lecture. “Your dedication and hard work are truly commendable,” she concluded warmly.

With the conclusion of this landmark event, stakeholders are poised to move forward with renewed commitment and strategic clarity, navigating towards a future where Kenya’s developmental priorities are met with efficiency, effectiveness, and foresight.

The distinguished guests and delegates pose for a group photo after the successful Public Lecture