About the Network


Launched in 2019, the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs Network of Kenya was established on the premise that Kenya’s UNESCO and UNITWIN Chairs have the capacity and resources, when pooled together, to address Kenya’s pressing challenges and contribute to the development of the country – in line with the UNESCO missions and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Chairs, all working on specific objectives, recognized their mutual goals and decided to found a network to represent their connecting themes and objectives.

The UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair Network of Kenya includes: Aga Khan University, Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development, Egerton University, Kenyatta University, Mount Kenya University, Rongo University, and the University of Nairobi

Aga Khan University UNESCO Chair on Youth Leadership in Science, Health, Gender, and Education

The UNESCO Chair on Youth Leadership in Science, Health, Gender, and Education at Aga Khan University, led by Professor Dr. Marleen Temmerman, aims at promoting civil society development, health, and wellbeing through empowering the next generation of young leaders in East Africa. Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, the chair is premised on the belief that investing in young people is investing in a sustainable future for East Africa.

Through a Think Tank in collaboration with higher education institutions, Aga Khan Development Network partners, government, UN, civil society, and youth organizations, young people’s needs are identified and sustainable solutions are formulated. The Chair also provides various training programs in gender, science, health, education, and leadership including a master in population health, a fellowship in adolescent health, a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine, a fellowship in high-risk midwifery care, a general youth leadership program, and a certificate in gender and equity. All of these programs are designed to promote its students’ leadership and resilience capacities. Lastly, the Chair gives the opportunity to motivated youth to send in research proposals on youth empowerment (connecting IT solutions to disparities faced by youth, mental health, sexual and reproductive rights and health, etc.). Successful applicants get financial and in-kind support of the Chair through the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University.

Contact: marleen.temmerman@aku.edu & unescochair@aku.edu

Rongo University UNESCO Chair on Community Radio for Agricultural Education and Extension

The UNESCO Chair on Community Radio for Agricultural Education and Extension at Rongo University led by Professor Samuel Gudu, aims at increasing access to information about
innovative and Climate Smart Agricultural technologies for small hold farmers in Migori County and the surrounding regions. The Chair’s aim is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2 which seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by ensuring that everyone everywhere has enough good quality food to eat and lead a healthy life.
The main focus of the Chair is: promotion of Climate Smart farming technologies; provision of seasonal weather information, provision of post-harvest management education and capacity building on agri-business and value addition. Through strategic global linkages and collaborations, the Chair intends to deliver the following key outputs: establish and operate an effective radio station for agricultural education and extension; co-produce participatory radio programs for farmer education; develop mobile Apps for use in Agricultural information sharing among small hold farmers; improve teaching and learning of community media/journalism studies in Rongo University and the University of Brighton – UK (our main project partner); enhance community radio/media research and practice in Migori, Kenya; carry out collaborative research with project partners and cooperate closely with UNESCO, KNATCOM and existing UNESCO Chairs to initiate and implement projects of mutual interest.
Contact: vc@rongovarsity.ac.ke & e.macouma@rongovarsity.ac.ke

Egerton University UNESCO Chair on Bioethics

The Chair in Bioethics at Egerton University was established in 1998 and is led by Professor Julius Kipkemboi. The objective of the Chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation activities in the field of bioethics, set up progressively an intra- and interregional network of research in bioethics, the collating of information on bioethics issues related to contemporary research projects and to establish a systematic mechanism for the transfer of information. Since its inception, the Chair has contributed to the promotion of the Universal Declaration of Bioethics through workshops and conferences on bioethics, publication of bioethics materials, and ethics teacher training in East Africa. The Chair has also been actively involved in the National Bioethics activities particularly in the development of research ethics training curriculum. Recently the chair conducted a study on the existence of Hospital Ethics committee in Public and Faith based hospitals in Kenya and is in the process of implementing the findings in collaboration with the key stakeholders.

The Chair is focused on continuous implementation of its objectives namely; promoting bioethics awareness, training and research through close collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Centre for Research and Documentation on Bioethics, UNESCO Regional Office in Nairobi, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, and stakeholders in the field of Bioethics. In view of this the Chair welcomes partnerships and collaborations in the promotion of Article 23 of the UNESCO Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Humans Rights through Bioethics education, training and information.

Contact:  bioethicscentre@egerton.ac.ke & jkipkemboi@egerton.ac.ke

Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD) UNESCO Chair on Natural and Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Mountain Development

The UNESCO Chair on natural and cultural heritage for sustainable development in mountain areas is co-chaired between the Institute of Geography University of Bern, Switzerland and Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD), Kenya.

The Chair focuses on natural and cultural heritage as drivers for local development and aims to i) elaborate, transfer and implement knowledge and know-how related to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and their valorization in the sustainable mountain development; ii) apply and develop novel approaches of inter- and transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge for sustainable mountain development; and iii) strongly emphasize interlinking public and private partners, science, policy and economy in the context of sustainable development, balancing heritage conservation and development. The Chair’s main activities include training and awareness creation; knowledge transfers and exchange of information and experiences in the fields of conservation and development; and cooperation with professionals in education and research institutions as well as UNESCO institutions. The Chair looks to strengthen these through creation of a Knowledge Society in the World Heritage Regions and an inter-institutional research platform (pole of excellence) for innovative inter- and transdisciplinary assessments and solutions in the fields of conservation and development in the mountains. Geographically these interventions focus on the Swiss Alps and Mt Kenya with plans to expand to other designated mountains in East Africa.

Contact persons: b.kiteme@africaonline.co.ke & Stephan.Rist@cde.unibe.ch

Kenyatta University UNESCO Chair on Higher Education Development for a Green Economy and Sustainability

The UNESCO Chair/UNITWIN Network on Higher Education Development for a Green Economy and Sustainability at Kenyatta University, led by Dr. Dorcas Otieno OGW, aims at promoting an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on Higher Education Development for a Green Economy and Sustainability, with a focus on Energy and Agriculture. Our chair is in tandem with Kenya’s Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, in efforts to empower youth to contribute towards sustainable growth.

The chair will establish an interdisciplinary program at KU on climate change with a focus on innovation, sustainability and green economy. It will transform KU into a Green Campus by mainstreaming green economy principles into governance, operations, and outreach. The chair will also build the capacity of KU to foster the development of green economy curriculum and competencies for youth employability, through the development of short vocational training programs for youth on green entrepreneurship related to renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. Youth will be supported to establish relevant green enterprises for hands-on application of Green Economy principles. The chair will also host inter-university student exchange programs for experiential learning on Green Economy. Partnership is a key component of the project, bringing together other universities in Kenya, and relevant private sector, government, and civil society partners. The University of Leeds is the lead partner in the UNITWIN Network.

Contact: dorcasbotieno@gmail.com & otieno.dorcas@ku.ac.ke

Mount Kenya University UNESCO Chair on Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching, and Sustainable Development

The UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair on “Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainable Development” at Mount Kenya University was established in 2017 and is currently being led by Professor Joel Kiboss and coordinated by Moses Nderitu. The chair’s main objectives include conducting research in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in higher education and in university teacher professional development, publish research results, and organizing training programs in the field of ICT-based teaching and teacher professional development.

A key activity of the Chair is the pedagogical skills training programme initiated as a Community Outreach programme by MKU’s School of Education at Naivasha Maximum Security Prison. Kenya National Commission for UNESCO has joined MKU in training inmates and has donated instructional materials for use by inmates to prepare for their KCPE and KCSE examinations. The faculty at the School of Education join as trainers in this programme as well as in sourcing for partners under the UNESCO UNITWIN Chair umbrella. The partners in this programme are MKU, KNATCOM-UNESCO, Kenya Prisons Service, National Research Fund (NRF) amongst others and the list is steadily growing longer The ultimate goal in this programme is to develop “Effectiveness of offline Study Desk on Prison Education” whose funding by the National Research Fund (NRF) has been received. The second programme by the Chair at Naivasha Maximum Prison is the entrepreneurial training to the in mates who are about to leave the prison to give them a soft landing upon release. Plans to roll out these two activities to other prisons are underway.

Contact:  jkiboss@mku.ac.ke e& peterwanderi2012@gmail.com  and copy Moses Nderitu ( mnderitu@mku.ac.ke​), who is the immediate coordinator of the MKU Chair.

University of Nairobi UNESCO Chair on Women and Community Health

The UNESCO Chair on Women and Community Health at the University of Nairobi, led by Prof. Amb. Judith Bahemuka, was founded in 1997. The Chair aims at bridging the gap between basic education and higher education through innovative cultural exchanges among students, parents and communities. It also seeks to transform universities from their “ivory tower” statute to poles of hope and strength for Kenyan communities by providing opportunities for staff and students to give back to society the knowledge they acquire at university. Moreover, the Chair intends to be a platform for linking the major actors in the area of sustainable development, especially with regards to women and community health, through capacity building action.

Its main strategy is encouraging knowledge and technology transfer between and among institutions that collaborate with the Chair and the University of Nairobi. Over the years, to achieve the objectives, the Chair has endeavored to contribute to sustainable social transformation through action-oriented research on women and community health as well as by working with communities, and their key allies in the field. These key allies and stakeholders include community based organizations, particularly women groups, farmer’s groups, children homes, non-governmental organizations and schools. The Chair works closely with relevant government departments and civil society to share their findings and recommend policy.

Contact: Prof. Amb. Judith Bahemuka  on bahemuka@uonbi.ac.ke & unescochair@uonbi.ac.ke

UNESCO Chair on Enterprise Management and Sustainability established at Moi University (2019).

The chair will be involved in training, research, innovation, exchanges and providing a platform for information sharing. The aim is to build capacities among the business people and farmers for enterprise creation, effective management and sustainability. The objectives of the chair will be to contribute towards establishment of enterprises that can meet the needs of present and future generations of customers and stakeholders through innovative creation of new businesses; promote undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training in enterprise management and sustainability  while enhancing environmental protection and business performance for economic development; conduct research on frameworks for sustainable enterprise decisions in developing countries that incorporates environmentally friendly products or services for policy-makers; and create opportunities for enhanced cooperation in research on sustainable enterprise creation and management among higher education institutions and other key stakeholders (civil society, NGOs, the private sector etc.) for enhancing sustainable entrepreneurship.

The chair will work in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University, USA, Ivey School of Business, Western University, Canada, Makerere University Business School, Uganda and KNATCOM-UNESCO. Other inter-university networks including Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and County Governments will be engaged as partners in enterprise management and sustainability activities.

Contact: vc@mu.ac.ke and lagatck@mu.ac.ke

Prof. Charles Lagat  Coordinator UNESCO Chair –Moi University


Participating Institutions: Aga Khan University, Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL
Development, Egerton University, Kenyatta University, Mount Kenya University, Rongo University, and the
University of Nairobi

In partnership with: The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.