“We need to urgently adopt an Innovation Culture”
This was the message that was echoed during the official opening ceremony of the Nairobi Innovation Week 2023. The ceremony that was marked was pomp and color at the University’s Taifa Hall on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 was graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Hon. Ezekiel Machogu.
In his keynote speech, Hon. Machogu announced that the government has increased allocation of resources towards research from 1.2% to 2%. He congratulated the University of Nairobi for the global rank and expressed his hope for a better performance. He also applauded the UoN for consistently mounting the Nairobi Innovation Week for 7 years. He mentioned that, ‘the University has created a platform for researchers and innovators to communicate their research output to the society.’ He challenged all institutions of higher learning stressing that, ‘What sets you apart from all the other institutions is research and Innovation.’ He urged universities to intensify efforts towards research.
Hon. Machogu also launched the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) portal and relayed the Government’s decision and implementation of the new funding model. He said, ‘The Government will only fund the students who join public universities. Those who join private universities will be able to access funds through the Higher Education Loans Board.”
On her part, the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi expressed her hope and gratitude towards the milestones that the University’s Nairobi Innovation Week has achieved. She emphasized that, the issues that are faced by the human race can only be solved through innovation and rigorous collaborations.
While echoing the same message, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama challenged the Government to rethink allocation of resources towards research and Innovation. He noted that on a Global scale, countries have heavily invested on research and innovation and they have streamlined the collaboration between industry and academia. He said that there a lot of benefits from this collaborations and promised that when this happens, Kenya will have solved the issue of unemployment by creating jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Dr. Bimal Kantaria, Managing Director, Elgon Kenya, noted that the youth will benefit greatly from the collaboration between industry and academia, ‘Elgon Kenya has seen a gap between theory and practice and we partnered with the University of Nairobi to establish an Agricultural Technology Innovation Centre that will empower the students during their studies, give them internship opportunities as they launch their careers in Agriculture. This will tackle the issue of food security in the country.
The Intellectual Property and Management Office Director and the Master of Ceremony of the day, Prof. Mary Kinoti noted that this edition of Nairobi Innovation Week has been made special by the majority of Innovations displayed being student-led initiatives to a tune of 60%. She congratulated the students who took up the challenge and participated in the different activities.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Enterprise, Prof. Margret Hutchinson, the UNSA president, Monica Malith also spoke during the ceremony.
The University Choir, Chinese students choir, Travelling theatre and the Theatre of the Absurd entertained the audience during the ceremony.
The three-day NIW 2023 continues and climaxes on Friday, May 19, 2023 with an award ceremony. This year’s Innovation week ceremony is , ‘Innovation and Commercialization for Sustainable Development’
Follow the proceedings on social media using #NIW2023 #changamkiaInnovation