Kenya bets on innovation to tackle growing needs
President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged scientists and innovators to be at the forefront in finding solutions for challenges facing the country.
Speaking when he presided over the official opening of the Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, the Head of State observed that in order to satisfy demands for the growing population the country is required to deploy technology to satisfy its needs.
“The solution (to our challenges) lies in scientific innovation and the harnessing of new ideas that create the ability for Kenya to leapfrog directly into new technologies,” the President said.
Addressing some of the challenges currently facing the country, the President said it is through digital technology that doctors can give remote diagnostic capabilities that multiply hundredfold the reach of each doctor.
He also said it is by embracing new surveillance technologies and analytics that the security agencies can expand their reach and improve their impact to combat crime and provide security.
The Young Scientists Kenya is a platform for young people from across Kenyan counties to demonstrate their innovation and showcase their scientific talents.
While acknowledging the pivotal role of young people in advancing Kenya’s science and technology agenda, President Kenyatta commended the work of the Young Scientists Kenya, a platform he would like to see it growing to becoming a truly national event involving more of the Kenyan youth from across the entire country.
The President underscored the importance of young people in the country’s future and said, it is this realization that has made his Government to make the youth a key priority.
The Head of State pointed out that his Administration has refocused the role of innovation as an essential component of the country’s education outcomes.
“This is what has underpinned our expansion of the Technical Training Institute (TTI) and vocational training facilities and the support to innovation hubs across our institutions of learning,” said the President.
The President directed that the youth event be rolled out nationally in the next one year saying that there are young innovators across the country.
President Kenyatta also agreed to the request by the Board of the Young Scientist Kenya to be their patron.
The President commended all students who participated in the National Science and Technology Exhibition for their innovative work urging them to emulate Kenya’s distinguished scientist such as Richard Leakey, Professor Odhiambo, and Professor Calestous Juma.
“The last two (Prof. Odhiambo and Prof. Juma)left us but their lives are worthy of emulation – both showed their curiosity, their courage, and their innovation early; both kept those qualities to the ends of their lives. And, of course, you must all have heard of Richard Leakey, whose research changed our understanding of mankind’s origins,” said President Kenyatta.