The Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) has been called upon to come up with a national database that can be used by financiers and investors to promote individual skills and innovations in the Country.
ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru said Kenya is a knowledge based economy with talented youth who have high potential in innovation, hence having a central place, where their information can be accessed easily will enable them to get financiers for start-ups.
Mucheru said the database is also crucial as it will help the country to know the deficit in innovation skills and what it has, the areas that need improvement, the location of the individuals and the people to be hired instead of relying on word of mouth and to know where the nation stands globally in innovation industry
“The challenges that innovators face is lack of a centralised skills based data, where people in the industry can know and find where the best talent can be found,” said Mucheru.
The CS was speaking during the official opening of the Kenya Innovation Week 2021 event, held at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) in Kabete.
The five-day event was attended by young innovators and exhibitors from institutions of higher learning, state agencies and individuals from across the country who exhibited high class innovation products and services.
Mucheru said most of the innovators have not grown due to lack of capital for start-ups, and spending a lot of their time looking for sales and funds instead of focusing to actualise their industries to grow and develop best solutions, and urged investors to support the innovators.
The CS urged innovators to focus on how they can build and develop the country through innovations that can improve lives and give peace to the citizenry.
“We should focus on how we can provide capital needed to ensure overheads are taken care of. The companies you are competing with globally have found ways of having capital,” he noted and reiterated the government’s commitment to support them to grow and expand.
“The government will support innovations by providing getaway licenses and mobile licenses, as well as support block chain as we want innovation to make a significant difference and bring a revival in the continent,” he added.
Mucheru urged Kenyans to take full advantage of the Continental Free Trade Area opportunity to trade, expand and grow their businesses.
Mucheru at the same time said the success of the innovations should be measured by the number of start-ups coming up and encouraged KeNIA to have a continuous forum where people can check database, as well as engage with innovators and advise them where to invest.
Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha in a speech read on his behalf by State Department for University Education and Research Principal Secretary Amb Simon Nabukwesi said the innovative week will be an annual event, as it will help to create partnerships and synergies which involves skills, innovation, competency based curriculum and well-coordinated development aimed at achieving Vision 2030, Africa’s Development Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“This event is crucial as it addresses key challenges in skills mismatch, provides clarity in innovation and can be used to solve problems. It will provide clarity and how innovation will be embedded to bring results as envisioned,” he said.
Representatives from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme, World Food Programme and GIZ who spoke at the event assured of their continued support and partnership towards innovation programmes for the youth, women and small and medium enterprises to improve trade and livelihoods of Kenyans.
By Bernadette Khaduli