Hult Prize Students Competition has officially been launched by the University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama. The launch took place on September 4, 2020 at the Council Chambers. The winner will get US$ 1 million (Kshs 100 million) to implement their projects.
The Hult Prize is an annual, year-long competition that crowd-sources ideas from university students by challenging them to solve a pressing social issues such as food security, water access, energy, and climate change education. The Hult Prize partners with United Nations in addressing the SDGs through Social Entrepreneurship Innovations by students. The ideas are judged by a panel of judges appointed by the Hult Prize Country Coordinator. In Kenya the Country Coordinator is Cliff Nyakundi who is the Regional Analyst for Africa at Hult Prize Foundation.
The University of Nairobi has been participating in Hult Prize through OnCampus Competition challenge since 2018. This is the third year of UoN participation. The purpose of the launch is to inspire the students to go full strength in the competition which runs for three months from September 5, 2020 to December 5, 2020.
Speaking during the launch, the Vice Chancellor, observed that the purpose of the University is to add value to faculty, collaborators and students and Hult Prize goes along way in adding value and challenging students. “Kenya is known for sports, wildlife, mpesa and academics. Our students perform very well in universities around the globe. I challenge you to bring glory to the University of Nairobi by winning this challenge”, he said.
Professor Kiama spoke on the need to brand the university well because good branding helps in creating many opportunities. “When we brand ourselves, opportunities increase and everyone looks forward to working with us,” he equipped.
Only recently, the Vice Chancellor outlined his five point reform agenda aimed at transforming the University into “A vibrant and Sustainable University” a University benefiting society through research and innovation. “This request by students to participate in the Hult Prize Social Innovation Challenge aligns very well with my Reform Agenda Number five on people where the University will identify and celebrate talents and achievements, exploit intangible assets through commercialization and to promote research and technology transfer ecosystem, ensure the University attracts, recruits, supports and retains outstanding staff and students and provide a diverse, inclusive, fair and open work environment where people give their best to their work and feel valued, ” he said.
May the best student win.