There was a colourful ceremony held at the University of Nairobi’s main campus, when the External Affairs Minister, Republic of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar officially commissioned the Mahatma Gandhi Graduate Library.
The library at the University of Nairobi main campus has been refurbished and commissioned for use through the generous support of the Government of India. A grant of one million US dollars was awarded to the University of Nairobi in 2016 when Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visited Kenya.
During his remarks, Dr. Jaishankar said that he was elated to be commissioning the library. He also noted that it was the best time to celebrate and also reflect on the larger significance of the relationship between India and Kenya. He outlined various scholarship programmes that Kenyan students have benefited from India, such as, Africa Scholarship Scheme (AAS) and Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation programme (ITEC).
The Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi challenged young people to take advantage of opportunities presented to them to further their studies and build useful careers using India’s progress and expertise in the fields of technology and health. She also thanked the Government of India, the Gandhi Memorial Academy Society and the Indian Community in Kenya for the support accorded to the University of Nairobi over the years.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, highlighted some of the unique features of the library where the library subscribes to over 100,000 peer reviewed journals and books both electronic and print and over 50,000 local e-repository content generated internally. He explained that there is a reading area with adjustable furniture to serve students abled differently and study carrels specifically designed to provide a quiet and private atmosphere for serious study and research.
Speaking on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Prof. George Magoha, the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, noted that the relationship between Kenya and India predates the independence. He noted that we share historical ties in trade and strong people to people connection shaped by long standing tradition of centuries of sea trading.
The Chair of Council, Prof. Julia Ojiambo noted that the benefits of the commissioned project are threefold: the space, the material and equipment, and lastly the partnerships expanded. She said that the Council’s next step is a commitment to continue working to ensure that staff and students have access to the needed space, materials, equipment so that their minds can soar to greater intellectual levels.
With a sitting capacity of 500 and equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, the Mahatma Gandhi Library is an ultra-modern library that strives to provide the highest quality services and resources to the university community, specifically to postgraduate students at the master’s and doctoral levels and academic staff.