Nairobi Innovation Week opens with call for stronger academia-industry ties

Investments, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Investments, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano has called for stronger linkages between training institutions and the industry.

 She made the call during the opening of Nairobi Innovation Week at the University of Nairobi (UoN) on May 8.

 This year’s theme, “Strengthening Innovation Ecosystem in Higher Education Institutions through Academia-Industry-Government-Community Linkages for Sustainable Development,” aims to bolster the country’s innovation ecosystem.

 The World Intellectual Property Organization ranked Kenya’s innovation ecosystem at number 8 out of 28 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in its 16th Edition of the Global Innovation Index 2023 report.

 However, on a global scale, Kenya lags behind in the areas of skills, infrastructure, and financing, ranking 100 out of 132 global economies according to the 2023 Global Innovation Index.

 “I am a firm believer in Project Kenya and I am fully persuaded that we have what it takes to claim a more honourable place as an industrialising nation in the community of world nations,” said Miano.

 She further implored learning institutions, from early education providers to tertiary levels, to adopt a teaching approach that promotes and rewards imagination, especially in the context of problem-solving.

 “This will come about if we elect to unyoke learning from subject-based traditional pigeonholes and instead allow holistic enlightenment to power innovation,” she added.

 “That way, we shall stand a chance to build a culture of perpetual embellishment of our education system, hasten the cross-pollination of the principles and ideas that underpin science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and ultimately accelerate our economic progress in a sustainable manner.”

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