The university of Nairobi will receive KES100 million to support innovation, President Uhuru has said. The amount will fund the annual exhibition the university holds to showcase its innovations. The President was speaking during the opening of the second edition of the long Nairobi Innovation week at the University.
The conference and exhibition are themed, ‘Partnerships for innovations that truly impact people and societies’, seeks to celebrate and recognize innovations that are relevant to the society. Commercialization of research and innovations, design thinking, effectively coordinating the national innovation ecosystem, institutional frameworks to facilitate innovation and supporting startups and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale are some of the topics discussed at the forum.
The President emphasized that Kenya is a leader of innovation bearing in mind that the country has innovated and continues to invent or innovate major inventions to spur growth. “We are still in need of more innovations in healthcare, financial services, education, agriculture, transport and infrastructure and energy. Hence, my government will help young people utilize their skill and imaginations to serve people and its markets,” he added.
Through the national broadband strategy, the government has strengthened its optical fibre availability through the National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) with Phase II nearly completed. This will enhance broadband connectivity for business purposes as well as communication among people to be faster.
Additionally, the National Council of Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) that has the National Research Fund (NRF) and National Innovation Agencies bring active and productive minds together to collaborate in the research market.
Kenyatta urged universities to showcase their innovations that would help stimulate the economy.
The first edition was held between 3rd-7th August 2015 and attracted over 800 delegates, 13 sponsors, 50 exhibitors and over 50 research papers. The second event has attracted 1500 delegates both internationally and locally. Some of the strategic partners include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development and Ministry of ICT.