Konza Technopolis Development Authority CEO Eng. John Tanui has challenged the academia to support the implementation of Kenya’s first world-class ICT based technology hub and a major economic driver, dubbed Konza Techno City. Tanui noted that academia has played critical role in the advanced economies by producing top-notch innovations that have spawned multibillion dollar industries like Facebook.
He urged the students and staff to share their ideas on various aspects of the city and come up with innovations that can be incubated to commercial viability.
The CEO was speaking Wednesday January 20, 2015 during a public lecture to staff and students of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
In his lecture on building innovation ecosystem, Eng. Tanui said the US$ 13 billion initiative will dovetail a mix of innovation hubs, universities, social amenities, commercial and residential wings.
Universities will be allowed to build model campuses at the city from where they can offer quality academic and research programmes and produce competent manpower critical to the advancement of Kenya’s economy.
Tanui lauded JKUAT for its leadership in engineering and technology oriented programmes. He singled out the recent Konza Innovation Hub and Park Design competition that was won by JKUAT architecture students.
On the progress of the landmark undertaking, the CEO said ground-breaking for the first infrastructure that will house offices, commercial and residential units is slated for March 2016.
Receiving the CEO at the University, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said JKUAT remained committed to producing innovative and entrepreneurial graduates relevant to the demands of knowledge-based and globalized economy.
The lecture which attracted students mainly from engineering and technology disciplines was also addressed by the Principal College of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Bernard Ikua and Principal of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. David Mulati.