The sixth edition of the JKUAT Tech Expo, opened Thursday December 3, at the Juja Main Campus. The two-day Expo dubbed: ‘Changing Lives through Innovation’ has drawn over 31 inventions from students in 11 categories namely; Education, Renewable Energy, Agriculture, Food Security, Water Management, Security, Waste Management, Financial Inclusion, Communication and Transport.
Speaking at the University during the official opening ceremony, Eng. Bernard Ngore, Chairman of Kenya Motor Repairers Association (KEMRA) lauded Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for holding this annual event acknowledging that such expos will contributing towards making Kenya an industrial power house in the region.
“It’s high time we stopped being a consumer economy. If the innovation showcased today are managed efficiently and incubated, I can assure you, they will create over 5000 jobs and unemployment burden will be lessened in the country,” said Eng. Ngore.
The Engineer encouraged the innovators to network and build relations with the industry, and urged them to be resilient and persistent in their quest adding that an innovation will not change lives until the innovator takes the next step and venture into the real world.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, in a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, acknowledged that ICT is a tremendous driver for economic growth and said as a University, JKUAT strives to produce quality graduates with an entrepreneurial capacity to create jobs, as well as seeking solutions to real life challenges.
Prof. Imbuga further said, the ultimate goal of the JKUAT Tech Expo is to come up with products and ideas that will change lives, adding that the University through the Nairobi Industrial and Technology Park, a Vision 2030 manufacturing sector flagship project, aims at incubating some of the projects with a view to transform them into viable commercial products with the potential of shaping the technological development of the country.
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi, said the University has taken great pride in supporting and facilitating the Tech Expo in order to create an environment where ideas count.
Prof. Kahangi appealed to the Government and the industry as a whole to engage institutions of higher learning in collaborative research and initiatives so as to collectively understand human needs in a bid to attain socio-economic development.
The seven Universities taking part in this year’s expo that concludes Friday, December 4, include: JKUAT, The University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya, USIU, University of Eldoret, Dedan Kimathi, and Technical University of Mombasa.