CS Urges Kenyans to Harness Technology for Food Security and Public Good
By Francis Zyder
The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education Hon. Ezekiel Machogu has urged Kenyans to harness science, technology and innovation (STI) for food security and public good for a transformational digitized economy.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Mr. Fredrick Ndambuki – Secretary, Administration, Ministry of Education at the 2nd Multisectoral Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation in Nairobi, the CS noted that the move will complement the government’s agenda to transform the economy and Kenyan lives at large.
Cabinet Secretary Machogu officially launched the four days conference which is co-organised by National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI), National Research Fund (NRF) and Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA). He noted that the event was timely and vital in bolstering the development of the sector.
“The government of Kenya is taking bold steps to bolster the science, technology and innovation sector as a key sector for the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).” said the CS.
“We must continue to demonstrate the power of research, science, technology and innovation as a solution to challenges faced nationally and globally, taking cognizance that Science, technology, and innovation are at the core of National and global Security, public safety, and inclusive sustainable development. Let us all unite in this noble undertaking for humanity.” said the CS Machogu, adding that institutions such as Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Konza will help in the realization of the dream.
Recently, CS Education appointed the National Research, Technology and Innovation Committee (NARTIC) to build synergies in the STI sector and create fruitful partnerships both locally and globally.
On his part, Prof. Walter Oyawa – Director General, NACOSTI, lauded the stakeholders for various initiatives in improving the sector and noted that partnerships are the future strategy for the sector.
He said; “The STI sector has an impact on National Security, Public Safety and Inclusive Sustainable Development – this is an area we are committed to promote through our multi-sectorial approach as one of the leaders in Science, Technology and Innovation.”
Speaking at the Conference, Prof. Dickson Andala, CEO of National Research Fund noted that NRF has made tremendous progress towards sustainable development as evidenced by the research outputs that are now addressing Kenya’s pressing challenges.
“Investing in STI and research allows the government to understand better the most pressing challenges faced by Kenya and the continent including poverty, hunger, and disease – and develop new technologies and solutions that can help us achieve food security, improve healthcare, and increase access to education.” He called on all stakeholders to take a multisectoral approach, build strong partnerships, and commit to social and environmental sustainability if we have to achieve sustainable development.
On his end, John Okwiri, CEO of KoTDA, through a speech delivered by Josephine Ndambuki, Chief Manager, Business Development and Innovation noted that Konza Technopolis is committed to advance the development of the STI sector by putting in place requisite infrastructure, programs and linkages with Government, academia, industry, and development players.
He highlighted catalytic projects such as Kenya Advanced Institute of science and Technology, the National Data Center, Digital Media city, Konza Conferencing Facility. He also highlighted Jitume program a program aimed to accelerate the country’s efforts towards a Global Technology talent hub.
The 2nd Multisectoral Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation, held from 23rd to 26th May 2023, aimed to facilitate a multifaceted forum of national discourse to chart Kenya’s technology-driven and innovation-led inclusive sustainable development agenda.
The Conference also provided an international platform for sharing best practices and networking in areas of STI-based Public Safety, Climate Change mitigation, and Environmental preservation, among others.