The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala, EGH, has today presided over the 19th Graduation Ceremony of the Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI), in Naivasha.
Speaking during the function, the CS commended the 195 graduates for their hard work, which has culminated to them being awarded certificates (49) and diplomas (146).
“I wish to commend the graduates for their hard work, which has culminated to their being awarded certificates and diplomas. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have resorted to a blended (physical and virtual) graduation ceremony to comply with the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Containment Protocols,” said the CS.
The CS challenged the graduates to apply the knowledge they have acquired to offer solutions to challenges facing the wildlife and tourism sectors and therefore, contribute to the National Development Goals.
“Going forward, WRTI will sponsor tuition fees for the best two certificate graduates with distinctions to join diploma courses in WRTI. So, the onus is on the current certificate students to work smart to earn these two sponsorships,” added the CS.
WRTI is in the process of reviewing the Academic Programs to offer courses geared towards addressing evolving challenges in Wildlife Conservation and Management. These courses will include wildlife forensics, protected area management, human-wildlife coexistence and conservation planning among others.
The institution is also developing broad-based, multi-institutional and long-term research programs to facilitate provision of accurate and reliable scientific data and information to inform policy formulation and decision making.
Among these will include data management infrastructure, disease surveillance and wildlife research and monitoring programmes. WRTI is also focusing on streamlining wildlife research permitting and compliance by developing research authorization guidelines, digitizing the research permitting process and creation of a researchers’ database.
Those present were the Director General, Kenya Wildlife Service, Brig (Rtd.) John M. Waweru, Ag. Chair of WRTI Board, Dr. Winnie Kiiru, Ag. Director/CEO WRTI, Dr. Partrick Omondi, Chair WRTI Board-Academic & Training Committee, Prof. Mbarak Abdalla Suleiman, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr. Julius Kamau, Ag. CEO, Tourism Promotion Fund, Mr. Stephen Kinyanjui, former Chairperson KWS BOT Madam Betty Maitoyo, among others.