President Kenyatta heaps praise on the late Wangari Maathai


President Kenyatta heaps praise on the late Wangari Maathai

President Uhuru Kenyatta has praised the late Wangari Maathai for her contribution to the growth of the country.

Speaking at the University of Nairobi on Tuesday, Uhuru said that the late Professor’s legacy will continue living, adding that she is the best role model for all Kenyans who want to contribute to the progress of the country.

The Head of State was speaking when he laid the foundation stone for an ultramodern centre at the University of Nairobi to house the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.

The institute at the University of Nairobi Upper Kabete Campus will be a global centre of excellence in environmental governance and its linkages with peace and democracy.

It also aims to create a culture of peace through transformational leadership in environmental governance.

President Kenyatta said Wangari Maathai had a vision to establish such an institute before she died and it was an honour for the University to host the institute.

“Before her death, Wangari had conceived the idea of establishing the Institute and shared the idea with the University leadership and her friends across the World,” said the President.

“I am encouraged to learn this Institute is already playing a critical role in reducing conflicts in communities by involving women in green energy technology, and in environmental conservation,” said the President.

The construction of the institute, which will cost a total of Sh1.4 billion is being funded by the Government of Kenya and the African Development Bank.

Maathai, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, died in 2011 at the age of 71.

After laying the foundation stone, President Kenyatta joined students in one of the lecture halls at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences where he called on them to shun tribalism and to work together as Kenyans to achieve their dreams.

He also urged the students to abandon tribal organisations and instead yearn for the higher national ideals of progress and unity.

“The most important thing is for each one of you to get a job after graduating and that will not be determined by where you come from,” said the President.

The President, who answered questions from the students on leadership and youth policies, said that the youth will not achieve leadership on the basis of ethnicity.

President Kenyatta said the Jubilee Administration has put in place measures to help graduates get employment by creating opportunities for internship, revealing plans to reward, with tax rebates, companies that offer internship.

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i, Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu and the university officials led by Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi attended the function.

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