#NIW2018: UoN to build tech parks for fostering innovation in Kenya

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(L-R)DR. Amina Mohamed, Kenya education CS and Prof. Peter Mbithi, UoN, VC on stage during the Nairobi Innovation Week opening session.

The University of Nairobi (UoN) announced that they are building a technology park to help foster innovation in Kenya.

Initial talks of the tech park started last year when the University of Nairobi (UoN) through its subsidiary University of Nairobi Enterprises Services (UNES) was awarded a contract, by the Ministry of Education, to develop the National Master Plan for Science and Technology Parks in Kenya and designs for technology parks for Konza and Dedan Kimathi University of Technology and Science.

“We are building a university of Nairobi tech park which will initially support research and innovations. The tech park will be among many research developments as startup incubation hubs in Kenya,” said UoN, VC, Prof. Peter Mbithi during the currently ongoing Nairobi innovation week.

Speaking at the time the project was handed over, Prof. Ngau, Project Team leader, said:

“The call for expression of interest was floated by the Ministry of Education. The consultant had to be a Kenyan public university and was expected to have an international partner,” said Prof. Peter Ngau.

“To this end, UoN/UNES partnered with Frost & Sullivan, a company based in Singapore with vast experience in science and technology parks. UoN/UNES also constituted the project team comprising ICT, planning and business professionals drawn from various schools in the university. ” Ngau added.

Mr. Richard Wong from Frost & Sullivan said that the company has worked with various governments in preparing science and technology parks master plans.

“Together with the UoN/UNES team we hope to meet the objectives of this project,” he said.

Prof. Mbithi said that the project is in line with its research and knowledge dissemination mandate stating that indeed, the National Master Plan for Science and Technology Parks will be of great value to Kenya.

Government Support

During his opening remark, Prof. Mbithi further pointed out that he thanks the government of Kenya for their steadfast support; and that the university is looking forward to continuing support.

“May I seek this opportunity to seek more partnerships with: more government organisations, non-governmental organisations, private sector organisations, scientific research organisations, other universities and other entities; that are interested in joining us to further our innovation efforts, promote government oriented research and foster synergy and broaden our reach,” Prof. Mbithi added.

On her part, DR. Amina Mohamed, Kenya education CS, thanked the University for their Continued Support for innovation; stating that innovation is driving the fourth industrial revolution and thus events such as the Nairobi Innovation Week will help Kenya keep up with the rest of the world.

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