Young Scientist Kenya (YSK) was officially launched by President Kenyatta at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International conference centre (KICC) to promote innovations by young scientist in the country.
President Kenyatta presided over the opening of the second Young Scientists Kenya National and Technology Exhibition, lauding the young innovations and directing relevant state agencies to secure intellectual property rights for such young innovators.
“The country’s future lies in scientific innovations,” said the head of state. Adding; “Between our young scientists, the private sector and the government, we can ensure that the next groundbreaking discoveries and innovations in science and technology are of Kenyan origin.”
In a bid to implement the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) and keep up with the fast changing world characterized by remarkable advances in science and technology particularly in information, communication and computing, the President directed education and trade ministries to put in place a robust mechanism for securing scientific ideas, projects and innovations by the Kenyan youth.
He further announced plans to hold a national business boot camp within the next 9 months to refine viable innovations into commercial projects.
This year’s exhibition attracted 235 entries and was attended by over 45,000 participants among them students from across the country, in a project jointly aided by the ministry of education in Kenya and the government of Ireland.
The president noted that Kenya was keen to replicate the Irish model of supporting innovation, challenging young scientists to develop innovations aligned to the country’s Big 4 and Vision 2030 development agendas, whose aim is to transform the lives of ordinary Kenyans. He also asked the Kenya Intellectual Property Rights Office to offer free patents to viable innovations generated during YSK exhibitions.
“Further, and to encourage linkages with industry, I similarly direct a waiver of trademark fees with respect to all innovations emanating from Young Scientists Exhibitions, beginning from 2018,” the President added.
Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan of Ireland input that her country will continue partnering with Kenya to enhance innovations by young people so as to improve their contribution to the development and transformation elements of Kenya.
Others who spoke during the event include Education CS Prof George Magoha and the permanent secretary (PS), Vocational and Technical Training, Dr Kevit Desai.
The two unanimously agreed to see to it that young innovators focus on cost effective innovations for enhancing our food and nutrition security, housing, universal health care and manufacturing as per the Presidents advice.
The CBC system should go beyond the learning of science and technology that typified the old order and instead lays emphasis on practical learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It is “a fit-for-purpose learning system” that offer all learners an opportunity to delve deeper into scientific fields enabling them to achieve their aspirations.