Mount Kenya University (MKU) Founder and Chairman Professor Simon N. Gicharu is the recipient of an Honorary Professorship, Honoris Causa. Namibia’s International University of Management (IUM) bestowed him the honour. The university described him as “an outstanding businessman and entrepreneur” whose efforts to promote higher education in East Africa are worth noting.
Professor Gicharu dedicated this award to “all students studying in private universities in Africa.” This was during the university’s 12th Graduation Ceremony held on 26 September, 2016 in Windhoek, Namibia. The event was witnessed by Namibia Prime Minister, Dr Saara Kuugongelwa, and Kenyan ambassador to Windhoek Samuel Njenga.
Prof Peter Wanderi, who accompanied Prof Gicharu to Namibia, pays tribute to the MKU Founder and Chairman saying, “His desire to give African students access to university education continues to burn strong over the last two decades,” he notes. “He went to the United Kingdom in 1996 to study entrepreneurship. He witnessed first-hand how Kenyan students in UK universities were suffering.
He decided to come back home and seek ways of helping Kenyans acquire accessible, affordable training right at home.” Prof Wanderi adds: “This exceedingly humble leader who is an institution himself, had a vision, which he has very well executed and which has seen MKU grow and develop into the vast university that offers certificate, diploma, under graduate and postgraduate programmes to tens of thousands of students from different countries.” He says the Namibian university recognised that Prof Gicharu was making a positive difference in the community.
MKU’s partnership with Thika Level 5 Hospital, a public entity, is a prime example of such support to the community. The university equipped the funeral home and does not share the revenues that the facility generates. It uses the facility for teaching its medical students, who, upon graduation, serve the community