How youths will benefit from Presidential Innovation Award


Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry for Youth Affairs, Arts and Sports Hon. Ababu Namwamba is set to launch the Presidential Innovation Award (PIA) today August 18, 2023 that will basically target the youths most of whom are in learning institutions.

The award which will be launched at Kip Keino Stadium in Eldoret to mark the end of the Devolution Conference is a module of the Talanta Hela programme run by the Ministry that intends to develop the entrepreneurial capacity of innovators across the country.

In a statement to media, Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) noted that the PIA is meant to scout and identify the most promising innovative ideas and solutions from across the country, give opportunity to youths to showcase the most promising innovations and startups at the Kenya Innovation Week (KIW).

The entire pool of finalists from all counties will undergo an investor-readiness and pitching training session during KIW to prepare them for the big stage, where the top three innovations per category will get a chance to attend an angel investor workshop and cocktail during the KIW to give them a chance to network and expose their ideas to a target audience that could support them.

At the close of KIW, top winners from each county will also be recognised, including the top three winners per category during the closing ceremony of the KIW. The Presidential awardees will be announced at the closing ceremony and be notified that their names will be called out during this year’s Jamhuri Day for recognition.

The Presidential awardees will be invited to attend the Presidential Dinner at the close of Jamhuri Day, and also be awarded grants to further develop their products and commercialize them.

The Award is further meant to recognize the achievements of the most promising innovators and startups at the Jamhuri Day Celebration and support the commercialization of promising innovations through a Presidential accelerator program.

It will also recognize and award the innovative work of top innovators in the country within the national priority areas, in order to encourage and support young people who are using their innovativeness, creativity and problem-solving skills to make a positive impact on society while becoming economically active.

“The goal of the Presidential Innovation Award is to promote innovation as a driver for socioeconomic development through fostering entrepreneurial mindsets and commercialization capabilities of Kenyan innovators,” read the statement in part.

The Award will focus on food security and agriculture, digital transformation, healthcare, entertainment and gaming, climate action and green energy as major priority areas.

There will be an online submission from this August which will run up to September this year, where all submissions will be received through a web platform, redirected from the Talanta Hela website, within the duration of the submission period. Applicants will be able to register their details, log on to their dashboard and add their innovation details.

By Roy Hezron

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