On Thursday, April 27, 2023, the University of Nairobi Engineering Students’ Association (ESA -UoN) welcomed Hon. Eng. Nicolas Gumbo, for a keynote address at the Green for Growth Convention at the historic Taifa Hall. The visit saw Hon. Eng. Gumbo return to his alma mater where he served as an ESA-UoN official while at the Faculty of Engineering.

In his opening remarks, Hon. Eng. Gumbo expressed his gratitude for the invitation to address the audience at the prestigious University of Nairobi and intimated that with his extensive experience in the industry and passion for sustainability, he was confident that he could provide valuable insights and perspectives on the topic especially how we can harness the many opportunities available within the Roads Sector to contribute to the green economy and promote sustainable growth and development.

The seasoned politician underscored the state of National Trunk, Primary, County, and Urban Roads. In his address, Hon. Eng. Gumbo defined roads as an essential component of any economy, providing critical connectivity between communities, cities, and regions enabling the movement of people and goods. Hon. Eng. Gumbo reiterated the need to embrace a more holistic approach that balances economic development with environmental sustainability by prioritizing eco-friendly materials in road construction and maintenance, employing road design methodologies that minimize waste, and ensuring sustainable use of labor and materials.

During a fireside chat alongside Eng. Kariuki Muchemi, former Member of the University of Nairobi Council, Hon. Eng. Gumbo took note of the incredible work of researchers at the University of Nairobi who have been conducting research on the use of geosynthetics as reinforcement materials in road construction and intelligent transport systems. He lauded the University for its commitment and futuristic approach in stamping the role of research in policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, and analysis.

While at it, Eng. Muchemi noted recent developments that have seen the University broaden its research kitty and direct concerted efforts towards globalization and boosting the identity as an innovation center such as through the Nairobi Innovation Week held annually by the University. He called on Hon. Eng. Gumbo and his colleagues in government to emphasize the role of research and innovation in solving contemporary and future problems whilst upholding professionalism and ethical practice.

In his introductory remarks, on behalf of the DVC Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Ayub Gitau underscored the potential that lies in investing in green infrastructure, adopting sustainable policies, promoting sustainable mobility, and adopting innovative approaches. He reaffirmed the long-standing commitment of the University to the development and advancement of a sustainable green economy both locally and globally. He officially opened the convention adding that the University has made tremendous progress in enabling a conducive environment for students and faculty to conduct research and assess innovative technologies for the future.

The convention attracted key industry players such as the National Housing Corporation (NHC) with ESA-UoN Secretary General, Mr. Humphrey Otieno, calling on his peers to take on their roles in creating a sustainable green economy. He further challenged the audience to find manageable means to reduce their carbon footprint, increase utilization of renewable energy, and recyclable resources and plant more trees so as to safeguard our planet against the adverse effects of climate change.

The Green for Growth Convention commemorated this year’s World Earth Day.

The Engineering Students Association (ESA) is an active student-led association that continuously organizes events for the members to network and learn from industry players. To find out more about this club and upcoming events visit the associations  social media page