EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A Roadmap to Strengthen Geoscience Education for Sustainable Development in Kenya

Rebecca Williams1,5, Munira Raji1,2, Joel Gill3,4, Lydia Olaka5,6, Christine Omuombo5,6, Cavince Odhiambo5, Joseph Oluoch5, Samuel Ochola7, Dinah Kawino7, Natasha Dowey8, Hannah Haemmerli3, Laura Pozzi3, Gareth Hurman3, and Honor James3
Rebecca Williams et al.
  • 1School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, UK (
  • 2University of Plymouth
  • 3Geology for Global Development
  • 4Cardiff University
  • 5University of Nairobi
  • 6Technical University of Kenya
  • 7Kenyatta University
  • 8Sheffield Hallam University

Meeting the targets of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires contributions from geoscientists. Like most countries, Kenya is faced with the triple dimensional challenge of balancing economic, social and environmental sustainability. Through implementation of its ‘Vision 2030’ strategy, Kenya aims to transform into a high-functioning, industrialised middle-income country, providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030. The country’s constitution harmonises with Vision 2030 and entitles every Kenyan to a clean and secure environment. This background provides an integrated roadmap entrenched in the SDGs. Kenya has also committed to implementing the African Union Agenda 2063 and the East African Community (EAC) Vision 2050, both aiming to build a more prosperous Africa. Eradicating extreme poverty, waste management, disaster preparedness, ensuring affordable, clean and sustainable energy, improving access to clean water, promoting sustainable consumption and production, environmental sustainability, building resilience to climate change impacts and managing Kenya's natural resources are some of the key elements of these policies. 

Here, we highlight the importance of geoscience education in accelerating the critical goals of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the SDGs. We synthesise key policy documents to explore sustainable development priorities at the national and county level in the context of geoscience in Kenya and explore the relevant geoscience training and skills needed to help address these priorities. We demonstrate that geoscience will continue to be instrumental for achievement of the SDGs and overall performance on socio-economic development in Kenya. Baseline assessments of the geoscience courses available, including training and description of modules offered in Kenya's higher institutions, were compiled and analysed. The extent of the existing geoscience workforce and future workforce required to deliver on Kenya's Vision 2030 and the SDGs was identified through online surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews. We mapped the future needs against the training available and existing current workforce capacity to conduct a skills gap analysis. We identify a number of needs, including (1) to embed sustainability concepts into geoscience curriculum; (2) to expand provision of specialist postgraduate courses (e.g. MSc); (3) to strengthen access to field-based training in both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees; (4) to increase the number of trained geoscientists; (5) improved communication between geoscientists and policymakers. We conclude with a roadmap to address these gaps, embedding good practice from the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism, and include transferable insights for other national settings.

How to cite: Williams, R., Raji, M., Gill, J., Olaka, L., Omuombo, C., Odhiambo, C., Oluoch, J., Ochola, S., Kawino, D., Dowey, N., Haemmerli, H., Pozzi, L., Hurman, G., and James, H.: A Roadmap to Strengthen Geoscience Education for Sustainable Development in Kenya, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14209,, 2023.