Kenya bets on science and technology to achieve growth

NAIROBI, May 7 (Xinhua) — Kenya will harness science, technology and innovations to hasten achievement of President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big 4 Agenda that includes manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal health care, officials said on Monday.

Moses Rugutt, the Director General of National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) said Kenya's ability to overcome poverty, hunger, disease and homelessness hinges on investments in applied sciences and vocational training.

"We need to develop our scientific capacity in order to achieve the president's big four agenda which is well realigned with Vision 2030 and the sustainable development goals," said Rugutt.

He spoke in Nairobi during the opening of seventh edition of national science week whose theme is harnessing research, science, technology and innovation's contribution towards achievement of the Big 4 action plan.

The five-day forum that brought together senior policymakers, scholars, innovators and students will also feature an exhibition showcasing latest advances in robotics, renewable energy, medicine and agriculture.

Rugutt said Kenya has increased research and innovations budget to help leapfrog from agrarian to knowledge based economy that promise jobs as well as inclusive and green growth.

"This Country will reap immensely from investing in scientific research, innovations and skills development to drive transformation in every sphere of our economic and social life," said Rugutt.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has tasked state funded research entities to spearhead implementation of his Big 4 agenda during his second and final term in office.

Margaret Maimba, a senior scientist with NACOSTI, said outstanding research and innovations that seeks to solve endemic social, economic and environmental challenges in Kenya will be prioritized for funding.

"We are going to reward innovators who come up with solutions to our every day challenges. More importantly, we will popularize science, technology and innovations at grassroots and national level to achieve growth and transformation agenda," Maimba remarked.