The Kenya Defence Forces’ National Defence College has received a charter to become a full-fledged university. The upgrade will let it offer graduate and postgraduate training to local and foreign military and civilian leaders on current and emerging security challenges.
President Uhuru Kenyatta awarded the charter, making the institution the first specialist university in the country under the Universities Act of 2012.
In an address given during an award ceremony at the institution in May 2021, Kenyatta said the renamed National Defence University-Kenya will help the nation’s military address the most pressing security problems.
“As you know, our country has suffered a lot from terrorist attacks in the past few years, not to mention the threats posed by transnational organized crimes and intrastate conflicts,” he said. “Physical attacks are not our only threats; there are virtual threats to our security as well, such as cyber warfare and hostile takeover of state electronic systems.”
Kenyatta emphasized a commitment to support the university to meet its goals for training, research and service. He presided over a graduation ceremony of 55 senior military officers and civil servants from Burundi, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.
Kenyan Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said the university designation is a major step forward in the ongoing effort to give the country’s security professionals access to elite training.
“We are no longer going to send our experts abroad for training. It is expensive and takes time,” Juma told Citizen TV. “The NDU is adding to a family of training institutions sitting in the Ministry of Defence that are really critical. We have a whole set of centers of excellence globally accredited that the NDU is going to take as part of its colleges.”