June 27, 2012
I am very proud to receive an honorary degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Being my first degree from a Kenyan university ever, I would like to dedicate the degree to my parents who seemed to have prepared me for JKUAT even though the university did not exist. My parents instilled in me at an early age the values of excellence, hard work, creativity and openness to new years. My late father, John Juma Kwada, introduced cassava in my community in the early 1960s. From him I learned about the value of adding something new to society. There were many local debates about the new crop. My mother, Clementina Nabwire Okhubedo, started to learn to speak Dholuo in her 40s so she could communicate with Luo traders. From her I picked up the value of life-long learning. I can project these early experiences to today's Kenya and its future as a global player in technological innovation. Kenya is celebrated as the birthplace of mobile money revolution. Motorola's first cell phone released in 1983 cost $4,000 (or $9,500 are current costs). It weighed two kilos. Subsequent generations were viewed as toys for the elite with no practical relevance to developing countries. Today Kenya is ahead of the curve.
Juma, Calestous. "Kenya: Why Kenya Has to Adopt Biotechnology in Farming." All Africa, June 27, 2012.