The Kenya government via the ICT Ministry is reportedly exploring options to set up a Start-ups Advisory Board to support the development of science parks and areas of innovation in the region.
This was revealed by the ICT CS Joe Mucheru, who was speaking at the yearly International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) Africa Division Conference at Konza Technopolis.
Mucheru said that the Board if it is established, will support more start-ups that are key to accelerating the digital economy.
Furthermore, the CS said that the government committed to working closely with other partners like Huawei Technologies to build skills database in the country.
The CS noted that the database will help to identify skills gaps and take action to bridge the gaps, resulting in advancement in the development of science parks and areas of innovation.
“I would like to appreciate the efforts on innovations that this conference has showcased. One thing I would like to recommend is that we need to have a Startup Advisory Board. The board that we have currently at Konza Technopolis aims at developing the infrastructure, but we need a board that can handhold our startups to develop them,” said the CS.
Dr. Sara Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education
At the two-day hybrid event was Dr. Sara Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education who represented CS Prof. George Magoha.
She noted that the establishment of Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at Konza will bring more innovators into the country and accelerate the development of Africa’s economies.
“We also need institutions where researchers can collaborate on projects that will benefit both countries. Projects like Konza’s KAIST which aims to bring together the best minds from across the region can help us in advancing towards more discoveries in science and technology” she said.
ICT, Broadcasting, and Telecommunication Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Maureen Mbaka
Also present was the ICT, Broadcasting, and Telecommunication Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Maureen Mbaka who opened the event and reiterated support for government innovation initiatives such as Whitebox and the Girls in ICT that continue to engage innovators in the country.
“We have continued to rally innovators, especially young women and girls to take up the STEM opportunities to drive our digital economy. As a result, we continue to rally other stakeholders in the industry to increase partnerships to grow innovation in our country and Africa,” said Mbaka.
Eng. John Tanui, President, IASP Africa Division, and CEO of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA)
Eng. Tanui is still supporting the innovation spirit and noted that the IASP conference provided yet another chance to build the knowledge economy of Africa.
“The role of science parks is quite very significant across the world. This is where the greatest ideas turn into solutions for the biggest problems in the world. Science parks have become the areas where economies are driven. With over 500 delegates at this conference, I am delighted that the academia and innovators have showcased various solutions during this conference. The relationship between these stakeholders is what is going to transform our continent in terms of creating knowledge and wealth as a continent,” said John Tanui.
Maureen Mwaniki, Vice Director, Programs Management at Huawei Technologies
She noted that in the past year, Huawei Kenya in partnership with other organizations like Konza Technopolis has impacted over 20,000 students.
Ms. Mwaniki added that in the next year, they would like to impact more than 23,000 beneficiaries in innovation programs.