1. It gives me great pleasure to witness this occasion after the long journey we have gone through in making the events of this day possible
2. Odera Akangó University is strategically placed in Yala Township with Yala being the gateway to Siaya County on the way to Uganda. I believe the residents of Siaya County, and especially Yala Township, are eager that this institution proceeds smoothly.
3. This journey started way back in 2017 with Moi University through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the County Government of Siaya to establish Odera Akangó as its constituent college.
4. The County Government of Siaya held several meetings in Nairobi, Maseno and Eldoret with both Maseno and Moi Universities which gladly led to the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding.
5. In January 2018, the County Government of Siaya then began the process of renovating the administration block, two lecture halls, and Director’s offices and constructed 2 washrooms and a house to store the generator. The generator has since been purchased and awaits commissioning by Davis and Shirtliff
6. In addition, the County Government of Siaya supported the construction of 5 water points, electrical and mechanical works and fencing of the institution. We also supported the finalization of the Master Plan, the National Environment Management Authority report and fencing of university facilities. All these were completed by August 2020 with the government spending a total of about KShs. 41 million.
7. The local leadership also negotiated a further boost to the infrastructure establishment through the reinforcement of the Kenya Power and Lighting Cooperation transformer which is an added advantage
8. During the period when Moi University was running the institution, Yala Township was economically thriving due to the availability of students at the institution. It is our joy that this “bubble” is coming back under the management of Maseno University.
9. As far as expansion is concerned, the County Government of Siaya is committed to expanding to Nyamninia, a journey that began from as far back as 2015 and 80 acres of public land has been proposed next to the KBC substation in Nyamninia, specifically for this purpose.
10. Consultations are ongoing with the Cabinet Secretaries for Education, for Lands and for Information on the registration of the land in the name of Odera Akang’o University College.
11. It is our dream that this expansion will realize the perfect constituent college for Maseno University and later, a fully-fledged university, to fulfil the vision of Professor Bethwell Ogot who donated the 3.3 hectares that it currently occupies in Yala Town
12. This Memorandum of Understanding is another clear evidence that the County Government of Siaya supports improvement of tertiary education in the county.
13. It is worth noting that we have previously negotiated a similar understanding with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) who took over the Siaya Agricultural Training Centre and are currently running Barack Obama University there as a constituent college.
14. The County Government of Siaya is therefore interested in having universities in the county that will impact both the local and international education arena.
15. Our interest in higher learning institutions as a County is not only to boost knowledge but also to expand commerce.
16. When institutions of higher learning are present in Siaya County, the business opportunities around Siaya will be boosted in the form of locals getting employment, hostels and more hotels will get constructed and the land value will go up. This is a win-win situation which justifies the expenditure that has gone in to ensuring that this institution is up and running.
17. Odera Akang’o University will therefore benefit the County Government of Siaya and her residents as knowledge will be enhanced not only to the residents but the doors will also be opened to the whole country. This has the effect of enhancing our diversity as a people.
18. I conclude by encouraging all Siaya citizens and especially County Government of Siaya staff to enroll for the courses that will continue to be offered here as a means to building the County’s capacity to have professionals at all levels of decision making in Government.
19. Indeed, we will nominate members of staff from time to time who shall benefit from the available scholarship opportunities that will be set aside by the University.
Thank you and God Bless You.