The Ministry of Education has completed a 10 year Master Plan for Science and Technology Parks (STPs) in Kenya at the Konza Technopolis and Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology.
The Principal Secretary State Department of University Education and Research, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi said the designs for piloting STPs is currently underway at the procurement stage for design consultant and construction supervisors for prioritized laboratories within the programme.
“This plan which provides a framework for the implementation of STPs in the next 10 years is indeed a major boost in our efforts to strengthen the country’s knowledge economy. We are at a good place as a country as we now have a framework for the implementation of the STPs in the coming years,” Amb. Nabukwesi said.
He made the remarks while giving an address during the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) Africa Division Forum Webinar hosted by Konza Technopolis virtually.
The forum brought together IASP leadership, global players in the technology space and key stakeholders in the Science and Technology Parks to discuss STPs in Africa’s Economic recovery impact of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
On his part, Amb. Dr. Samori Okwiya, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD/APRM Kenya Secretariat, said the African Union (AU) had adopted Agenda 2063 which articulates the Continent’s sustained growth, competitiveness and economic transformation.
“In order to enhance opportunities, there is a need to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship through collaboration between public and private stakeholders at both national and regional levels to facilitate co-creation and commercialization of innovation,” he said.
IASP has seven divisions namely Africa, Asia Pacific, Eurasia, European, Latin American, North American, West Asia and North Africa.
The PS indicated that there are six STPs proposed within three technology corridors; Nairobi, central and western to be implemented going forward. The proposed STPs are Konza STP Nairobi Technopolis Corridor, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) STP Nairobi Technology Corridor, University of Nairobi STP Nairobi Technology Corridor, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology STP in central technology corridor, Moi University STP in western technology corridor and Maseno University STP in western technology corridor.
In addition, a virtual STP is also proposed for purposes of linking to all the other STPs and acting as the first step in the creation of a virtual workplace and market for the 21st Century.
Some of the developments that have so far been achieved towards the establishment of STPs especially at Konza are; detailed architectural designs for the Konza science and technology park to BQ level, Konza STP site master plan, business plan for the Konza STP, preparation of a preliminary environmental impact assessment and a call for expression of interest for the architect and construction supervisor for the initial laboratories in the STPs.
The PS further stated that the ministry, in collaboration with the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), has also embarked on a programme to develop national physical sciences and research laboratories in energy, material science, engineering, mineralogy and nanotechnology, nuclear science and technology, forensic science, chemical sciences, metrology laboratory, bio technology, environmental science, theoretical and computational science as well as space science.
Speakers during the conference were unanimous that commitment to cross border innovations will strengthen the economic situation of countries within the continent.