Researchers have been urged to embrace digital economies in order to exploit innovations with potential to create new markets. This was the message by Prof. Bitange Ndemo, an economist and a don from the University of Nairobi’s School of Business. Bitange was delivering in a lecture themed: Transforming the University into an Innovations Entrepreneurial University at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on November 2, 2018.
“We should embrace digital economy which is the current trend in harnessing disruptive technologies to create future jobs and stay relevant. Uber, the largest taxi company with no vehicles has successfully utilized this,” said Prof. Ndemo.
Prof. Ndemo advised that there were plenty of job opportunities and unexploited markets if information and communications technology (ICT) was introduced, to analyze critical data of the current market systems and protect shared ledgers against alteration in a technology he referred to as “Blockchain Technology”.
“Blockchain Technology will reduce the cases of irregularities in shared information in the country. Digital encrypted transactions and records cannot be altered and it will therefore be secure for shared ledgers,” he said
He further advised the researchers to be curious and look at the current problems on a wider scope. “If you imagine that every problem has a solution, you will succeed. Opportunities emanate from lifestyle changes,” advised Prof Ndemo
Prof. Ndemo also urged the researchers to learn predictive analytics to extract information from existing datasets to help them determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends which he said, is key to understanding the market.
“A bag of maize in Kenya now costs KES 1000 as opposed to KES 4000 which farmers were expecting due to poor predictability. We can only have healthy living people through data from predictive analytics,” said Prof. Ndemo.
The lecture was supported by JICA in a series of similar programmes aimed at encouraging JKUAT researchers to better understand commercialization of innovations.