The African Development Bank (AfDB) has expressed its readiness to fund research and innovation projects with potential to transform livelihoods across the continent, an official has said. The Bank’s Financial Sector Development Programme Manager, Robert Musambuko said the funding body was increasingly looking to research organizations to provide sustainable solutions to the endemic problem of poverty and hunger in Africa.
Musambuko who spoke at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology on 14th July 2016 said time had come for knowledge-based decision making and African universities should produce innovations that can transform the continent. He singled out health, agriculture and infrastructure as key sectors that require concerted effort from government, private sector and academia.
The Development Programme Manager said the leadership of the AfDB was keen on working with universities to address value chain gaps in agriculture sector to improve lives of Africa’s rural families.
He lauded JKUAT agro-based engineering innovations noting that they could be deployed to create jobs and improve income for Africa’s youth.
The Director, Africa Financial and Technical Assistance, Nixon Bugo who accompanied Musambuko to JKUAT said a number of universities in Africa still engage in innovations for exhibition. To change this mind-set, Bugo said his organization has rolled out a number interventions to help research organizations translate innovations into commercially viable enterprises.
Director of Production and Innovation, Prof. Martin Obanda who received the officials at JKUAT said the University had a plethora of innovations that were ready for commercialization.
The challenge, Obanda added, was on Africa’s entrepreneurs and investors to come forward and partner with the University in realizing the first steps in the industrialization of the continent through commercialization of Africa’s innovations in technology.
JKUAT is currently in talks with AfDB for a possible funding to address gaps in the milk value-chain in Kenya’s agriculture sector.