On the 29th October 2018, the Globethics.net East Africa held an International Conference on Ethics in Nairobi, Kenya.
The two and half day event was declared open by the Vice Chancellor of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Very Rev. Prof. Stephen Mbugua Ngari, who in his opening address pointed out four ongoing problems within higher education that need to be resolved before higher education can be sustainable and effective in promoting ethics. His four points were:
• first, that Higher Education institutions need the integration of values into their governance, management and daily practices;
• second, that teachers need course material and updated educational methods and content that are relevant to the global context and challenges awaiting their students. These, he said, include integrating ethical reflection and values such as responsibility, accountability, transparency, respect for diversity, respect for the environment and critical thinking into the teaching process;
• third, he noted that students need access to reading material and inspirational models of sustainable development to feel connected with the world, and motivated by those models in their career planning and employment objectives; and
• fourth, that society needs to have responsible citizens as employers and ethical workers to ensure harmony and peace for a sustainable development of the economy and its integration to the global market. He summed up all these by reaffirming CUEA's commitment by saying, "I wish to affirm that that CUEA is actively engaged and committed to the consortium and particularly in the integration of ethics into higher education."
The key note speaker of the day, Prof. Israel Kodiaga who is the Regional Director, Africa at Southern Delta International, noted that the theme of this conference had come at an opportune time. A time when society is confronted by ills that are as a result of disregard for ethics. Some of the examples of the root in the society he highlighted included unethical practices in relation to assessment, management of institutions, business and research among others. He caused participants to laugh when he noted that he knows a leader in government who went to study in a foreign country before he acquired a passport. He emphasised that value-based education at all levels of learning is critical at this time, particularly, value-based at higher education which produces the society's leadership and work force.
The Executive Director of Globethics.net, Msgr. Obiora Ike, also attendee the conference. He noted that he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants in working towards promoting ethics in higher education. He encouraged all presenters and those who were writing papers contributing to the publication on ethics in higher education series.
The conference attracted a total of one hundred participants from various institutions of higher learning and government both in and out of Kenya. A total of thirty eight (38) papers were presented. On the last day the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO presented findings of research on Existence, Roles and Functions of Hospital Ethics Committees in Level 4, 5 and 6 Hospitals in Kenya.
The conference ended with a tree planting session to celebrate the International Ethics Day which had been celebrated internationally this year on the 17th October 2018.