HACO Industries and University of Nairobi have announced a new partnership that will see the two organization collaborate on research and industrial placements.

The collaboration agreement will focus on enhancing research and development capacities of both institutions. It will seek to foster co-creation of knowledge that will contribute towards knowledge transfer and increased innovation capacities for university students.

Speaking during the signing ceremony HACO Industries MD, Mary-Ann Musangi said “It is estimated that 50% of the youth in Africa will be unemployed and economically inactive by 2025. For a continent with a population of 65% young people, this has led to the ongoing debate of whether Kenya is ready for the 4th Industrial revolution (4IR). It is beyond doubt that young people have a huge role to play in ushering in the new digital era, Kenya’s readiness for 4IR shouldn’t be the question, but rather the capacity for young people to steer and promote the 4th industrial revolution should be a top agenda.

The University of Nairobi, represented by the Chairman Chemistry Department under the Science and Technology Faculty, Professor David Kariuki echoed these remarks. He emphasized the institution’s enthusiasm to partner with local industry to create unique solutions to the country’s unemployment challenges. “This is the first time that the University of Nairobi’s Chemistry Department has partnered with a local manufacturing company in this way. HACO Industries as a homegrown manufacturing company should be an enabler of young homegrown talent. We should be able to attribute the firm’s advancement in the region to locally trained talent born out of this partnership. Similarly, this partnership promises to yield valuable knowledge to boost manufacturing sector’s competitiveness through joint research studies and publications. It is heartening to see industry taking a step towards bridging existing gaps between them and academia and building a robust talent pipeline that guarantees employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young graduates.”

Through the agreement, HACO Industries will receive students and teaching staff for periods of time, as well as provide input on curriculum development and short courses.

This initiative is part of the company’s sustainability agenda which focuses on education and skills development as a key pillar driving its business development plans for the next 3 years. HACO will step up its engagement with stakeholders in the Education sector, specifically TVET institutions, to drive this agenda and open opportunities for more young people & women to join the manufacturing sector.

HACO Industries was established in 1974 and is a leading FMCG Manufacturer in East Africa and COMESA. The company’s portfolio includes a range of personal care products (Amara Lotions, Deo, Petroleum Jelly), home care products (So Soft Fabric Softener and Conditioner, Sparkle Dishwashing Liquid & Ace Liquid Toilet Cleaner) and hair care products (Miadi and Ashanti Q ranges).