Iran has unveiled a large scale innovation hub in the country in a move to deepen trade ties with Kenya.
The Iran House of Innovation and Technology (IHIT) is set to help develop and export “knowledge products.”
This will see Iranian firms sharing technology information acquired over the years in fields such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and other high tech fields.
The hub is located in Nairobi’s upmarket Kilimani and is the first of its kind in Africa. It will offer workspaces and technological infrastructure for Kenyan firms.
On Wednesday, Iran Vice President for science and technology Sorena Sattari, during the unveiling of the hub, led a delegation of 50 knowledge-based Iranian firms for a business to a business meeting with Kenyan firms.
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“The hub is a platform for the companies to network and evolve the business and will result in the partnerships and more joint ventures between the two countries,” said Sattari.
The balance of trade between Kenyan and Iran is hugely in favour of the Middle-East country that is diversifying from an oil-based economy to a knowledge-based one.
Kenya largely exports millions of kilograms of its tea to Iran and has continued to trade with the country amid Iran’s tiff with the US that has led to sanctions.
Speaking at the unveiling, ICT CS Joe Mucheru said that the innovations would spur job creation among the youth and committed the Government’s support to market the innovations.
“We hope good ideas will come out of the hub which we can commercialise and transform lives,” said Mucheru.
"We have put in a lot of investments as a government in terms of infrastructure, education, security, and ensuring the laws put in place safeguard the intellectual property of innovations being created," added the CS.