Africa’s rising irrigation leaders bound for Kenya

Irrigation specialists from 11 African nations converged on Kenya to participate in an Australia Awards Short Course on Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Agriculture.

This course included lectures and visits to some of Australia’s important agricultural regions, and meetings with farmers, local and federal government and private sector representatives, and leading researchers. It followed a five-week program hosted at The University of Queensland.

The specialists adapted their knowledge and experience to Africa, with a three-week program of lectures and engagement with the irrigation sector.

The Kenyan experience, delivered by The University of Queensland’s International Development team, aims to support African agricultural production and sustainable development.

Course leader Dr Gunnar Kirchhof said there were tremendous opportunities to increase food production through irrigation innovation.

“This is emphasised due to the similarities between the Australian and Kenyan agro-ecological environments,” he said.

“A highlight of the program was a Nairobi panel event on government, industry and research partnerships, which featured experts from Kenya’s agriculture and irrigation organisations, institutes and corporations.”

The group visited Kenya’s West Kano Irrigation Scheme and several other agricultural regions.

Course participant Simon Akwetaireho, a community development specialist with the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, said the course had been extremely useful.

“It has enriched me with great ideas and highlighted technologies critical for reforming the farming systems in Uganda,” Mr Akwetaireho said.

The Australia Awards are funded by the Australian Government and managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australia Awards Short Courses develop the capacity and leadership skills of professionals so they can contribute more effectively to development in their home countries.

Media: International Development, Mr John Brighenti,, +61 447 218 303.

UQ International Development

We are one of the leading university development groups in the Asia-Pacific region. Our unit provides development expertise and program management leadership to help build the capacity of people and organisations around the world to achieve their development goals.

Last updated:
25 May 2020