The government and the private sector have been challenged to tap into innovations developed by University students to fast-track the big four agenda.
Researchers and students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUT) said universities have become hubs of brilliant technological innovations that if tapped can help provide prompt solutions to challenges faced by Kenyans as well as reduce the soaring unemployment rates.
Speaking when representatives from the Japanese Embassy toured the school to monitor some of innovations on Tuesday, they said most of the technologies have been aligned to the big four objectives, and through support, the students could come up with large-scale innovations.
Dr. Peter Kihato the Engineering workshop manager where the innovations are developed and also a senior lecturer in the department of electrical sciences said the brilliant innovations are swept down the drain due to lack of support.
He said they are partnering with the private sector, county governments and other universities on how to tap into new innovations to increase efficiency, effectiveness and also to create jobs.
Some of the innovations the university is known for include the shujaa tractor, robotic and post-harvest technology, among many others.
The Embassy of Japan has been influential in the development of these technologies in areas of funding, trainings, and technology exchange.
“If the government and the private sector can chip in, fund students to develop the technologies, they can get solutions to most of its challenges. Our students will be better exposed, feel valued and contribute to nation building,” he said.
A senior representative from the Japan International Cooperation Agency Satoshi Sugimooto said some innovations competed those from developed countries and need to be harnessed to have impact in the country.
He called for enhanced partnership between Japan, the Kenyan government and local Universities in areas of research, saying the youth have solutions to the challenges that ail the country.
“These technologies need to be diversified to make an impact. The youth in universities have brilliant innovations that can cure the problems our countries face. All they need is support and empowerment,” he said.
The students expressed their disappointment that despite taking years to come up and experiment their innovations, they did not see the light of day at the big stage.
They were however optimistic that their innovations could save the country a lot if embraced.
“The potential with the students is high. However ,we need support and see our ideas being tapped into in the big stages to tackle challenges of unemployment as well as help the country achieve big four agenda,” said Kelvin Mwaniki, an electrical engineering student who did a garbage management system.
By Muoki Charles