Collaborative Training in Fisheries and Aquaculture in East, Central and Southern Africa (COTRA)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Phillip Raburu
Project Coordinator: Dr. Frank Masese

COTRA is an EU-funded project under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme to support the training of graduate students in African universities. In this mobility programme, five African partner institutions and one EU Technical partner are collaborating in the training of professionals to achieve sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture resources that shall lead to increased fish production and enhanced food and nutritional security, and hence, improved livelihoods and household revenues for communities.

The University of Eldoret project team includes Prof. Phillip Raburu (Project PI and first coordinator), Dr Frank Masese (Current Project Coordinator), and Mr Vincent Chesire (Project Accountant). The project partners include Makerere University (Uganda), Mzuzu University (Malawi), Official University of Bukavu (DRC), and Rhodes University (South Africa). The technical partner of the project is BOKU University (Austria).

A total of 24 Masters (6 credit-seeking, 18 degree-seeking) and 12 Doctorate (4 credit-seeking, 8 degree-seeking) students have been trained in the thematic areas of Fisheries Management, Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. In addition, 10 administrative staff participated in a capacity-building program mainly in areas of financial and international student management, among others. The project provided full fellowships for PhD and MSc students as well as short-term mobility for students and staff among partner institutions. The project was implemented from 1st November 2017 until 31st October 2023.

The objectives of the project were to achieve sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture resources leading to increased fish production and enhanced food and nutritional security, and hence, improved livelihoods. Specifically, the project aims to improve skills and competencies of academic staff in research, training, and supervision; improve the capacity of administrative staff in implementing international mobility; and enhance the quality of graduate students' training leading to innovative and fit-for-purpose professionals.


Thesis Research Activities

The project contributed widely to research in Kenya by UOE students and international students who undertook their postgraduate training at the University of Eldoret and in partner Universities in other countries. The table below shows the MSc / Ph.D research thesis titles of COTRA UoE Students at Partner Institutions.


MSc students from UOE

No.Student NameThesis TitlePartner University
1Christine OwadeDrivers of structural and functional composition communities of macroinvertebrates of Afromontane-savanna riversRhodes University, South Africa
2Victor Okong’oEnvironmental assessment of cage culture fisheries in Lake Victoria KenyaRhodes University
South Africa
3Mutua Grace NdukuVirus community and welfare of pond and caged Nile tilapia within Lake Victoria basinMakerere University
4Kimeli Joshua KoskeiOccurrence of pesticides residues in feeds, the pond environment and farmed fish in Kenya Makerere University
5Lubembe Indasi SharonEffects of fish cage culture on water quality and macro-zoobenthic communities in Lake Kivu, Southern BasinOfficial University of Bukavu


Ph.D Students from UOE

6Petronilla MwangudzaAssessment and mitigation of biosecurity risks associated with microalgae inclusion in farmed abalone dietsRhodes University, South Africa
7Elizabeth ObadoThe potential of ebb-and-flow technology and salt tolerant crop on nutrient removal from a brewery effluentRhodes University, South Africa
8Leah CheropThe life history traits of African Lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus, Heckel 1851) and influence of environmental variability in Lake Baringo, KenyaMakerere University


MSc Thesis for Students from Partner Universities at UOE

9Nakangu, Nelly FurahaFood, feeding habits and population structure of “Ningu” (Labeo victorianus, BOULENGER, 1901) in four selected rivers of the Lake Victoria basin, KenyaMakerere, Uganda
10Kadeka, Ellen Consolatar Influence of land use on leaf litter decomposition in upland streams of the Nzoai River BasinMzuzu University, Malawi
11Fekadu, Masresha Birara Influence of land use on macroinvertebrate assemblages in upland streams of the Nzoai River BasinBahir Dar University, Ethiopia
12Nabayunga, Stella Value chain Analysis of farmed fish Oeroechromis niloticus in Kakamega CountyMakerere University
13Josephine Buluma Effect of feeding ratios on the performance of an integrated Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) – Mentha spicata (Spearmint) aquaponics systemMakerere University


Ph.D Thesis for Students from Partner Universities at UOE

14Walumona, Jacques Riziki Modelling influence of lake level changes, water balance, and fisheries of Lake Baringo, KenyaUniversity of Bukavu, DRC
15Kondowe Benjamin Influence of lake level changes, water balance, and fisheries of Lake Kanyaboli, KenyaMzuzu University, Malawi


Publications by students from COTRA Project 

  • Kondowe BN, Masese F.O., Raburu PO, Singini W, Walumona RJ (2022). A review of water quality and ecological status of Lake Kanyaboli, Kenya. Lakes & Reservoirs: Science, Policy and Management for Sustainable Use. 27, e12401.
  • Kondowe BN, Masese FO, Sitati A, Walumona RJ, Singini S, Raburu PO. (2022). Seasonality in environmental conditions drive variation in plankton communities in a shallow tropical lake. Frontiers in Water.
  • Kondowe BN, Masese FO, Sitati A, Walumona RJ, Singini S, Raburu PO. Dynamics of fish assemblage characteristics in a shallow Afrotropical Lake in western Kenya: community diversity, species composition and catches. Submitted to Aquaculture, Fish and Fisheries.
  • Kadeka EC, Masese FO, Lusega DM, Sitati A, Kondowe BN and Chirwa ER (2021). No Difference in Instream Decomposition Among Upland Agricultural and Forested Streams in Kenya. Front. Environ. Sci. 9:794525. DOI:
  • Kadeka EC, Sitati A, Kondowe BN, Lusega DM, Chirwa ER and Masese FO. 2021. Effects of deployment period on decomposition and colonization of leaf litter of differing quality by invertebrates. African Journal of Education, Science and Technology, 6(3), 16-27. DOI:
  • Nakangu NF, Masese FO, Barasa JE, Matolla GK, Riziki JW, Molongaibalu M (2021). Influence of the changing environment on food composition and condition factor in Labeo victorianus (Boulenger, 1901) in rivers of Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. Aquaculture and Fisheries. DOI: 
  • Nakangu NF, Barasa JE, Matolla GK, Riziki JW, Mbalassa M and Masese FO. (2021). Condition Factor and Length-Weight Relationship of Labeo victorianus (Boulenger, 1901) in the Selected Rivers of the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. African Environmental Review Journal, 4 (2): 39-48. DOI:
  • Walumona, J.R., Kaunda-Arara, B., Odoli, O.C., Murakaru, J.M., Raburu, P., Muvundja, A. F., Nyakeya, K., Kondowe, B.N., 2021b. Effects of lake-level changes on water quality and fisheries production of Lake Baringo, Kenya. Ecohydrology, e2368.,  
  • Walumona, J.R., Odoli, C.O., Raburu, P., Amisi, F.M., Murakaru, M.J., Kondowe, B.N., Kaunda-Arara, B. 2021a. Spatio-temporal variations in selected water quality parameters and trophic status of Lake Baringo, Kenya. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research & Management 26,1-16. DOI: 10.1111/lre.12367 .
  • Walumona, R.J., Kaunda-Arara Boaz, Odoli, C.O.,  Raburu P. , Kondowe, B.N., Kobingi, N., Murakaru, M.J.,  Masilya, M.P., Mbalassa M., & Amisi F.M.:Modeling food web properties and fisheries dynamics in Lake Baringo using Ecopath mass-balanced model (submitted to Ecological modeling journal).
  • Fekadu, Masresha Birara, Simon Agembe, Clement Kiprotich Kiptum, and Minwyelet Mingist. "Impacts of anthropogenic activities on the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages during the wet season in Kipsinende river, Kenya." Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 22, no. 6 (2022).

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