Government moves to promote local innovations to reduce imports

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021 00:00 |

The government is committed to promote the work of local innovators in a new bid to drive out unnecessary and expensive importation of products that can be developed locally.
Lawrence Karanja, the CAS in charge of the Ministry of Industrialization Trade and Enterprise Development revealed that the government learnt a lesson after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.
In the initial stages of the pandemic, Karanja noted that the country was importing all manner of personal protective equipment and other items that contain the spread of the virus such as masks and sanitizers.
He said that while the government was originally reluctant to encourage local inventors, the pandemic was a wakeup call and under his ministry, the government has been doing everything possible to nurture inventions that are key to social-economic development of the country.
Through Kenya Industrial, Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), the CAS revealed that the government has been availing systems, technical support and space for all the innovators as a way of encouraging them to scale higher in their innovations.
Further, he said that interested inventors have been receiving free patenting of their inventions so as to enjoy maximum benefits.
Speaking during Zetech University’s graduation that saw 1, 406 graduands conferred with degrees, diplomas and certificates, Karanja insisted that adoption of ICT courses will stimulate innovation; specifically, the use of mobile phones and mobile money, websites, computers, tablets and even video cameras.
“We are asking any Kenyan with innovative ideas to visit KIRDI for incubation and nurturing of their ideas,” he said.
The private university chancellor Prof Susan Alfano who spoke during the ceremony that was themed harnessing the fourth industrial revolution said that the university has taken innovations seriously in a bid to respond to the needs of the new technology.
She revealed that the institution has integrated their curriculum into the new wave of technology giving more focus on entrepreneurship which is key to the development of a society.
On his side, Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene said that the university recently developedInnovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Hub to encourage innovations which will go a long way in reducing importation of products.
“We are now offering tech-driven courses that enhance innovativeness which is a major solution to many of our societal problems,” said Prof. Munene.
He said that Kenya loses a lot of revenue in imports and encouraged students to enroll for courses that are geared towards helping the country grow its economy.
During the event, former Ruiru MP Esther Gathogo graduated with Bachelors of Business Management.

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