Role of Universities in The Achievement of SDGs in Kenya

Education, Research and Publication, Operations and Community Leadership

  • Titus Kivaa Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Keywords: Champion, Kenya Vision 2030, SDGs, SDSN Kenya, Universities in Kenya, Tertiary education


This paper explores the role of universities in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kenya. Specifically, the paper analyses the capabilities of universities in utilizing research, education, governance and external leadership to help Kenyan society deliver on SDGs. Although universities in Kenya have been making significant contributions to the implementation of the SDGs through education, research, operations and community leadership, the impact of these activities on the overall SDGs achievement remains low, implying that more intense and harmonized action is required of the University ecosystem. The study method employed in this paper was major desktop research complemented with active participation and observation methods. The paper established that today, universities in Kenya have a good measure of cognitive and knowledge resources that can help to champion the course of SDGs implementation in the country. While the actions taken so far towards the SDGs achievement are highly appreciated, the overall level of achievement to date is only average and falls below the set targets. Concerted efforts of the public and private sectors, and development partners in Kenya are therefore called for. Moreover, institutions of higher learning and other knowledge institutions need to be more actively involved in the sustainability endeavour. This paper recommends four specific SDGs solutions by the University ecosystem in Kenya, namely: boosting of the science and art of sustainable development in syllabuses for the tertiary education programmes; enhancing access to university instructional materials that advance sustainability in socio-economic production and consumption; developing centres of excellence in the practice of sustainability; and, rallying political support at the national and county levels for greater assimilation of the SDGs ideals in civic life at the grass-roots level of the society.