At a colourful ceremony, the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI)
ushered in a new era for the sector it regulates. It launched two documents that detail how it will, henceforth, support the science, technology and innovation (ST&I) sector to scale new heights in the drive to transform the economy.
The event hosted in Nairobi on June 11 was a promise to Kenyans that going forward, the ST&I sec- tor will help the nation realise its key development goals.
Prof Collete Suda, Chief Administrative Secretary and Principal Secretary for University Education and Research in the Ministry of Education, issued a challenge to ST&I stakeholders.
As chief guest, Prof. Suda set the bar high for actors in the sector. She asked them why, for example, Kenyans should not use ST&I to produce enough food and banish hunger.
She gave the example of Israel, a largely dry country, that uses modern technology to produce food for own consumption and export.
“No country in the world has ever developed without embracing science, technology and innovation,” she pointed out. “In this, the most important resource is human capital, which must be highly skilled, competent and experienced.”
She added that the countries we emulate have invested heavily in science, technology and innovation. “Their economies are driven by ST&I. That is what we want for our economy,” she said.
She emphasised that returns on investment in R&D are realised where research is demand-driven and the outputs are used to address fundamental societal challenges.
Kenya seeks to transform into a middle-income country providing high quality of life to its citizens in a clean and secure environment by 2030. It seeks to accelerate national development by 2022 by focusing on implementing the Big 4 Agenda, whose pillars are Manufacturing, Agriculture, Housing And Health.
Prof Collette A. Suda, PhD, FKNAS, CBS
CAS Ministry of Education and PS State Department of University Education and Research