Wednesday, May 8, 2024

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024 the University experienced a historical event that saw the Official Opening of the 8th edition of the Nairobi Innovation Week 2024 that was characterized by Innovation exhibitions, attendance by Faculty, Government and Government Agencies, Industry partners and the UoN students and their innovations.  

‘Innovation is the way to go!’ This is the collective message that was echoed by all those that spoke during ceremony.

Speaking during the official opening Chief Guest CS for Education, Hon. Ezekiel Machogu called on all the institutions of Higher Learning to continuously engage in Innovation. He Highlighted the role innovation plays in the Bottom Up Transformation Agenda (BETA) and noted that the government is keen on upscaling innovations that are focused on increasing Agricultural output, affordable housing, support of the Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) and the Digital superhighway. He noted that Innovation is a catalyst of the Government’s agenda. He called on the Kenya Innovation Agency to lead the Innovation discussion by including all the Universities both public and private. Hon. Machogu congratulated the University of Nairobi for hosting this platform that brings the innovation ecosystem stakeholders together and urged them to evaluate growth. He announced the increase in funding towards innovation efforts by the government from 0.8% to 2% of the budget.

CS Education, Hon. Ezekiel Machogu presiding over the opening ceremony of  NIW 2024 

The CS, Ministry of Trade, Hon. Rebecca Miano while congratulating the UoN for playing a role in placing Kenya on the global map noted that, ‘Innovativeness is the spark that ignites human progress. My ministry has a target to attract domestic and foreign investments, a target to grow manufacturing GDP, Increase exports and reduce imports, Innovation will be a significant contributor. We as a country, need to support and accelerate innovation, startups and spin off and entrepreneurship ecosystems.’

CS, Ministry of Trade, Investments and Industry Hon. Rebecca Miano speaking at the opening ceremony of the NIW 2024

On his part, the Managing Director of Elgon Kenya, Bimal Kantaria announced that soon the Kenya Agriculture Technological Innovation Centre (KATIC) will soon be launched at the Upper Kabete Campus. The Centre will increase students’ output and give them a chance to idealize their innovations, scale and commercialize in partnership with Industry.

Managing Director, Elgon Kenya , Dr. Bimal Kantaria 

ABSA CEO, Mr. Abdi Mohammed commended Kenya’s efforts in raising the practice and standards of innovation globally. He particularly mentioned that Kenya has led in Fintech innovations.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama underscored the need to stay on top of innovations citing that. ‘We need to come up with solutions that are facing our society and to grow wealth.’ The University has no other option other than to be innovative to be globally competitive and keep transforming the society. He referred to the Innovation pillar that is in the University’s strategic plan 2023-2027.

VC, UoN Prof. Stephen Kiama speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the NIW 2024 

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Innovation and Enterprise, Prof. Margaret Hutchinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Leonida Kerubo, Director, Intellectual Property Management Office, Prof. Mary Kinoti and UNSA Chairperson, Rocha Madzao are among those that spoke during the ceremony.

The Nairobi Innovation Week 2024 is set to take place from May 8-10, 2024 at the University’s Main Campus. The programme is driven by Faculties and they will be thematic conversations. The theme for this year’s NIW is ‘Strengthening the Innovation ecosystem through the Academia-Government-Industry-Community Linkages for Sustainable Development’

Watch the Opening ceremony