from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – KENYA is spearheading ambitious plans to become Africa’s premier innovation hub.
To showcase its knowledge economy and growing reputation as Africa’s Silicon Valley, an inaugural forum has been held under the aegis of the Konza Technopolis, a special purpose entity to facilitate the development of Konza, a Vision 2030 flagship project.
Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) aims to ensure the project grows into a sustainable, world-class technology hub and a major economic driver for the nation, with a mix of businesses, workers, residents and urban amenities.
The forum held in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank Bank, Safaricom, Huawei Technologies, Machakos and Meru Universities is part of a series of initiatives held by KoTDA to showcase Kenya’s capability to spur an innovation ecosystem.
Eng. John Tanui, KoTDA Chief Executive Officer, said the initiative would focus on three key clusters, namely Information Technology Enabled Services (ICT/ITES), Life Sciences and Engineering.
“Innovation is an instrumental pillar in Konza Technopolis’ core mandate,” he said.
“Indeed our focus areas in the innovation ecosystem are guided by direct investment in technology, smart urban planning and building a knowledge-intensive environment for stakeholders and the community.”
To meet the needs of the government and other stakeholders, KoTDA is developing an initiative for institutions interested in shaping the direction of Konza Technopolis.
Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for ICT, expressed satisfaction at progress made.
“The attraction of foreign and local partners and rollout of phase one indicates that there is hope that Kenya is on course to becoming the innovation hub on the continent,” Mucheru said.
Kenya is ranked fifth in Africa in the Global Innovation Index and stands at position 80 globally.
The top four highly ranked nations in innovation are South Africa, Tunisia, Mauritius and Morocco.
– CAJ News