The 2011 JKUAT Tech Expo, an annual exhibition, staged by students to showcase inventions they have developed during their course of study at the University opened at JKUAT, Thursday October 13, 2011 with over 66 exhibits designed mainly to promote the ICT, engineering and agricultural sectors. Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Secretary for Information and Communication, praised JKUAT for instilling a culture of research in its curriculum that he said was well reflected in the way students were able to come up with useful inventions that could advance Kenya’s industrialization agenda. The Permanent Secretary told universities it was their duty to provide solutions to the problems facing Kenyans and noted that it was easier for researchers in developing countries like Kenya to invent since such countries were afflicted by numerous social and economic problems, a fact he said that could make research easy to tackle.
‘If you want to invent look at the problems people have. People in developing countries have a better opportunity to innovate due to the numerous problems that exist in these countries’. Dr. Ndemo cited the public transport industry in Kenya that was unreliable saying that it was possible for ICT experts to devise a computer aided application system that would be able to monitor and blacklist for severe disciplinary action those drivers who broke traffic laws.
Dr. Ndemo announced government had undertaken a project that had led to the mapping of the entire soil types in the country and data on the same was now available. He welcomed the young researchers to work out on a computer programme that could use data generated from the soil analysis to aid famers in proper decision making saying the current practice of providing crucial agricultural information to farmers through extension services was cumbersome and time consuming. The permanent secretary said government was in the processes of opening a digital village in Kangundo, Machakos County, to advise farmers in the area to promote productive agriculture.
Speaking at the same occasion, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the Vice Chancellor, emphasized the importance the ICT sector had to play for the country to realize Vision 2030 noting that JKUAT remained focused in preparing its students to meet the challenging task facing Kenya. Prof. Imbuga pledged that the University will take for further development winning inventions.