Science and technology provide the essential means for facilitating economic, social and cultural transformations at national and global levels. Success of national development policies will often largely depend on the extent of integration of modern science and technology in their implementation
In recognition of the importance of science and technology to national development processes, Kenya’s colonial government established a number of scientific research and development facilities especially in the country’s agriculture and health sectors. These included the Scott Agricultural Laboratories in 1903, Coffee Research Services in 1908, Veterinary Research Laboratories in 1910 and Medical Research Laboratory in 1958. Similar efforts in other sectors were made during the nineteen forties and fifties.
After attaining independence in 1963, Kenya established many other Science and Technology (S&T) institutions to harness science and technology in the country’s development priorities. In response to the growth in national S&T and related activities, the post-independence Government sought to have a mechanism through which scientific and technological activities could be coordinated and promoted. This led to the enactment of the Science and Technology Act, Cap 250 of the Laws of Kenya in 1977. The Act established Advisory Research Committees (ARCs) and the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), a semi-autonomous agency, to serve as advisory institutions to the Government on matters of science and technology.
In an effort to contribute to realization of the Kenya Vision 2030 and other national development goals, which aspires to transform Kenya into a globally competitive, newly industrialized, middle income country founded on a strong foundation on Science and Technology and Innovation with Research playing a key role in generating critical mass of technical and skilled manpower, the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, 2013 was formulated. The Act repealed Cap. 250 of the Laws of Kenya and established the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) as successor of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST). The Act will facilitate the promotion, coordination and regulation of the progress of Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) in the country.