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Mombasa to host a major Innovation Week Forum

Mombasa and other coastal counties will host the 3rd Edition of Pwani Innovation Week (PIW) to create a widespread culture of innovation in the region.

The innovation week, under the theme, “Leveraging on Covid-19 opportunities to create a better future,” will provide an opportunity for individuals and both public and private sectors to address challenges and solutions in business and other economic activities.

Patron of the Swahilipot Foundation Hub in Mombasa Mahmud Noor briefing the media on the forthcoming Pwani Innovation Week to be held on 28th to 31st March, this year. Photo by Mohamed Hassan

The forum is being organized by the Swahilipot Foundation Hub in collaboration with the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Mombasa County Government and other partners.

The annual event which did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic is slated for 28th to 31st March, this year.

It will involve among others hackathons/challenges, training boot camps, and networking, women in technology, exhibition techkids expo, panel discussions and pwani gat talent.

“Innovation catalyses the aspiration of individuals, private institutions and governments to achieve developments by generating creative ideas and introducing new products and services that improves the overall quality of life,” said Swahilipot Founder, Mahmud Noor.

Noor said this will provide a platform for the national and county governments, industries, businesses, organizations and individuals to showcase, engage, discuss and explore how the world, through the coastal counties’ lens, is leapfrogging economic growth by leveraging on Covid- 19 opportunities.

“We intend to inspire innovators, policy makers, corporations, funders, researchers and other players to take risks on new ideas and trends, collaborate across sectors and transform the Kenyan Coast through the scaling of innovation,” he added.

Noor said the main objective of the innovation week is to provide innovators, start-ups and established businesses, which are addressing challenges affecting communities in the coastal region, the opportunity to showcase their innovations.

“The event will also promote public-private sector partnerships to improve trade, economic resilience and encourage young people to take responsibility for solving societal problems,” said the Swahilipot patron.

Noor also thanked the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru for his valuable support to the event and other activities geared towards promoting innovation and talent of the youth in the region and the whole county in general.

“We truly appreciate the continuous support in our activities by the Cabinet Secretary and the Ministry,” he added, during a press briefing at Swahilipot Foundation in Mombasa on Friday.

Konza Technopolis Chief Manager of Business Development and Innovation Stella Muhoro commended the Swahilipot Foundation for the initiative and pledged to support the event.

“We support such events through our platforms as technology is key to the development of our country,” said Muhoro.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer James Kitavi said the pwani innovation week will provide a good opportunity for individuals, businesses and companies to interact and seek solutions to challenges facing them.

During the last edition in December 2019, the Pwani innovation week attracted more than 600 participants drawn from national and county governments, development partners in technology, upcoming innovators and students.

Among the sponsors were Safaricom, ICT Authority, Huawei, UKaid, Seacom, Africa Youth Trust and Kenya Red Cross.

Swahilipot Foundation Hub is a non-profit making organization in Mombasa that focuses on inspiring and nurturing entrepreneurs and creative through networking, technical training, support, professional mentoring and coaching.

Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Nadia Ahmed is a product of Swahilipot, where she was a volunteer.

Nadia urged youth in the country to be innovative and challenged them to turn their abundant talent, exuberance and energy into sources of income to spur economic growth.

By Mohamed Hassan

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