CS Miano urges universities to focus on innovation for economic growth, job creation

Cabinet Secretary for the Investments, Trade and Industry Rebecca Miano plants a tree at Zetech University together with Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene. Photos by Kamau Njoroge

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry Rebecca Miano has backed universities to be thriving hubs of knowledge and research as well as breeding grounds for innovation to steer the country’s social-economic development.

Speaking during Zetech University’s innovation week themed “Unleashing the trans-formative power of AI for a circular economy,” Miano described universities as intellectual capital factories and home to transformational ideas that can yield tangible solutions to cure real challenges.

“The Government recognizes the role of innovation in driving economic growth. That is why we have made significant investments in research and development, particularly within our academic institutions. By enhancing funding for research projects, providing state-of-the-art facilities and encouraging collaborations between academia and industry we are laying the groundwork for a robust innovation ecosystem,” Miano said.

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She maintained that innovation is a catalyst for progress and called for collaborations between universities and industries to fast-track economic developments through inventions.

“When academic research is aligned with industry needs, the potential for groundbreaking discoveries and technological advancements increases exponentially. This synergy leads to the development of products and services and that serve market demands while creating new markets and opportunities,” she added during the event that took place at the university’s Mang’u campus in Juja, Kiambu County.

CS Maino expressed the government’s commitment in supporting innovations that contribute to regeneration saying that the government is currently investing in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, media and digital disruptions and circular economy initiatives to promote environmental stewardship and social equity.

“We are also working to enhance the capacity of our local industries to adopt and scale up innovations, thereby creating jobs and improving livelihoods,” she said adding that innovations and research are the cornerstone of Kenya Kwanza government’s strategy for achieving self-dependence and growth of local markets.

CS for Investments, Trade and Industry Rebecca Miano with Zetech University VC Prof Njenga Munene during the opening of the University’s Innovation week.

She commended Zetech University for advancing research, innovation, and development especially in its endeavor to develop a rechargeable battery-powered motorbike in keeping with environmental sustainability.

“I must also commend you for the recent training programme you hosted for South African Wholesale and Retail traders with

On his part, Zetech University Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene noted that in the rapidly evolving world, innovation and disruption are essential catalysts for progress.

He singled out AI which he said has immense capabilities which unprecedented opportunities to rethink and reimagine how people live, work, and interacts with the environment.

“It is a powerful tool that can help us address some of the most pressing challenges of our time, from resource scarcity and waste management to climate change and economic inequality,” he said.

Zetech Chancellor Prof Susan Alfano averred that there’s need to focus on harnessing green skills and creativity for a circular economy as well as recognize the importance of preparing students and researchers for a future that prioritizes sustainability.

“Green skills are not just a trend, they are a necessity for ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future. By integrating these skills into our curriculum and research initiatives, we equip our community with the tools needed to drive environmental stewardship and economic prosperity,” Prof Alfano said.

By Kamau Njoroge

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