The NACOSTI Board and Management with KMFRI Management during the Technical Stakeholder engagement at KMFRI Mombasa.

The NACOSTI Board and Management, led by Prof. Raphael Manavu, a Board Member, conducted a technical stakeholder engagement visit to Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) in Mombasa on Friday, July 29, 2022. Prof. James Njiru, CEO of KMFRI, was represented by Dr. Melckzedeck Osore, who welcomed the delegation on his behalf. The discussion centered on the opportunities in Investments in Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (RSTI) that are available for Universities, Research Institutions and TVET Institutions in Kenya and beyond.

Picture during the Technical Stakeholder engagement at KMFRI Mombasa.

In view of engaging its key stakeholders, the Commission’s Director General Prof. Walter Oyawa presented a  detailed road-map on how Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) can be leveraged for socioeconomic development of the country noting that according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Technology and Innovation Report in 2021, all countries need to pursue STI policies appropriate to their development stage and economic, social and environmental conditions. He stated that NACOSTI is seeking partnership with the entire STI sector to promote, regulate, advise and coordinate STI for inclusive and sustainable national development.

KMFRI indicated research opportunities in Mariculture – the farming of organisms for food and other products such as pharmaceuticals – milkfish farming in selected areas in the coastal region, the prawn farming and a new entrant Marine tilapia. The Institute has established a Marine Resource Center and has embarked on ocean floor mapping in order to utilize the numerous economic and environmental benefits to the Country. It emerged that developing appropriate research systems and capacity of resources like the human capital would increase the knowledge in research and understanding of marine ecosystems to unlock a huge potential in the ocean economy. 

The team also discussed well about breakthroughs and challenges in the STI and research sector. The big concerns highlighted included the limited of financing for STI programs and activities, addressing the STI’s innovation component in terms of patenting and commercializing the final innovation products, working in silos, which limits potential for growth, and how to explore the full untapped potential of the ocean economy through Research, Science Technology and Innovation.