By Dhahabu Writer
Kenya will soon have a specialised regional lab for testing and validating viable products from incubation and innovation hubs.
This state of the art lab will be hosted at Konza Technopolis Development Authority whose ground breaking is set for next month at the Tecno City grounds.
Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) Chief Executive Officer Eng. John Tanui said the hub’s creation is part of a wider plan to drive Kenya’s efforts of becoming a knowledge based economy forward.
“We are in the process of developing the Konza Regional Innovation Hub that will be home to innovative solutions for communications, business, health, education and smart cities. The hub will link other innovations hub in the country and build an innovation pipeline” said Eng.Tanui
He said that the center will prepare products from incubation hubs and innovation for market launches as well as offer them support until the innovations endure the market forces.
Speaking during a public lecture at the University of Nairobi, on the role of universities in building an innovation ecosystem, the KoTDA CEO called on employers to develop mechanisms that support students to develop business acumen at an early stage and begin to influence their research areas.
He urged employers to provide opportunities for young professionals to develop diverse professional networks through industry interactions.
Eng. Tanui was optimistic of the impact of creating Konza Techno city which is often referred to as Kenya’s Silicon Savanah. He explained
“I believe that the solutions from the Konza ecosystem will help address global challenges, creating a foundation for Kenya’s startups and SMEs to grow into multinationals.”
Konza City has three subject clusters, namely ICT, life sciences and engineering which are expected to drive the country’s efforts to become a knowledge based economy.
The KoTDA CEO said universities are a critical catalyst in advancing Kenya’s innovation efforts due to their wealth of mind capital and ability to generate as well as attract the best talent. He added
“Let us all embrace this very key partnership and help spur our country to greater economic power.”
University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi noted that knowledge is replacing other resources as the key driver to development, adding that technical education has increasingly become the basis of individual prosperity.
He reiterated the University of Nairobi’s commitment to meeting the needs of the industry by churning our graduates who have the necessary employable skills.
“As a leading University in the region, we recognize the critical role we have to play at the center of the innovation ecosystem on the African continent. Therefore, we have positioned innovation as one of the defining pillars of our leadership. These innovation forums will be part of the effort to nurture an innovative culture for our students, staff and partners”
Prof. Peter Mbithi Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi
The forum held at the University of Nairobi’s Taifa Hall attracted among others former Information Permanent Secretary Prof. Bitange Ndemo who is an Associate Professor, School of Business at the institution as well as Safaricom’s Strategy and Innovation Director Joe Ogutu, lecturers, students and other stakeholders.