The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development is in the process of developing a local content policy on industrialization that would strengthen the capacity of locally manufactured goods.
Making the announcement during a visit to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where he was taken through innovations by researchers and students of the institution geared towards combating the Covid -19 pandemic, the Chief Administrative Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Lawrence Karanja said the Covid -19 pandemic had brought to the fore talented innovators from both private and public sectors who dedicatedly worked round the clock to find a lasting solution to the virus.
Accompanied by Principal Secretary, Dr. Francis Owino, Mr. Karanja lauded JKUAT’s innovative prowess and commended the University’s efforts in the role it was playing towards curbing the Covid-19 pandemic.
He urged the researchers and innovators to escalate their innovations to the next level and more importantly, post Covid-19 to enhance the Manufacturing agenda of the country as envisioned in Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Big Four development agenda.
“As a ministry we are ready and willing to compliment the University’s effort, and we applaud JKUAT for the innovations that will no doubt be useful beyond post Covid-19,” said Mr. Karanja.
On his part, Dr. Owino extolled the innovations he interacted with and urged the University to come up with a robust internship programme so as to have a seamless transition from academia to industry.
“We must pride ourselves on the potential, capability and capacity we have as a country in matter manufacturing, which is why I most sincerely want to thank JKUAT for swiftly responding to the government’s call in curbing the scourge,” said Dr. Owino.
Echoing the Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Owino said the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development strives to support the intellectual protection of local innovation and enhance the linkage between industry and academia.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said the innovations on display epitomized JKUAT’s prowess in innovation and research and were a significant contribution by the University aimed at supporting the government’s strategies in combating the Coronavirus.
She, however, appealed to the government to pump in more research funds to enable universities compliment its efforts in finding solutions to some of the challenges facing society, noting that local institutions had the capacity and expertise.
“It is my plea to the government and private sector to partner with institutions of higher learning to formulate relevant policies and offer incentives that propel innovations from the idea stage to fruition,” implored Prof. Ngumi.
Mr. Joseph Gitonga, a Council member lauded the University’s researchers and innovators for their commendable innovations, and assured them of the council’s support throughout their work.
“Since inception, JKUAT has been guided by a culture of innovation and research and I am glad to inform you that the university headed the call from government to play her part in the fight against Covid-19,” said Mr. Joseph Gitonga, who was accompanied by other Council members, Commissioner Gabriel Lengoiboni and Dr. Saloma Gichura.
Others present were the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellors; Professors Mary Abukutsa (RPE), Prof. Benard Ikua (Administration) and Prof. Robert Kinyua (Academic Affairs), the Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Dr Hiram Nderitu, the Director, Pan African University, Prof. Gabriel Magoma, and a Director of the Ministry, Mr. Kinguru Wahome among others.