Kagame, Kenyatta shed tears for Prof Juma

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Prof Calestous Juma

Rwanda President Paul Kagame joined his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in mourning the passing of Professor Calestous Juma.

Kenyatta said in a Friday statement that he learnt with profound dismay the death of the professor saying Kenya had lost one of its most distinguished scholars and patriots.

“His dedication to Kenya’s cause showed in his founding of the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi,” Kenyatta said.

Prof Juma served as its Executive Director until 1995, when he left to take up the position of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal.

His distinguished career took a new turn when he was appointed Professor of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) in the USA.

There, Professor Juma oversaw programmes in Health Innovation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among other distinctions and responsibilities.

Those who had the pleasure of meeting him — or communicating with him online and off — will testify to his warmth, his love of learning, and his great generosity.

“Whoever you were, he replied quickly and courteously, eager to let you have the benefit of his learning and experience. We will miss him,” Kenyatta mourned.

He added: “I am grateful for his life; and I pray that God, who has called Professor Juma to himself, will comfort his family and grant them the grace and courage to endure the loss.”

Kagame also said in a social media message that he was saddened to hear of the passing of Prof Calestous Juma.

“We have lost a brilliant mind who was dedicated to innovation, education and Africa’s prosperity.”

“Condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace,” Kagame added.