The young people are the key to economic growth. The solution to high unemployment rate in Kenya and economic growth of our country lies with the young people.
This was the rallying cry to the young Kenyans to rise up and innovate, form companies, business ventures and create employment. They were urged to embrace technology while doing so.
Technology, it was urged, has been the engine behind the rise of many companies in the United States of America and the world over. Tech companies have since employed thousands of young people and reduced unemployment rates. Such companies were started by men and women who were in their youthful years. They include: Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, among others.
Speaking during the side event at the Nairobi Innovation Week, Prof. Lucy Irungu, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension noted that “research impacts society.” She said that research helps in the transfer of knowledge. She noted that the University of Nairobi is putting up more emphasis in research uptake guided by the Government strategy and Kenya’s Vision 2030.
Prof. Irungu in her remarks noted that the University has been working in close partnership with the government and the corporate partners to increase research outputs. The outcome of the symposium will be integrated into the Ministry of Education policy documents.
Keynote Speaker, David Sengeh from IBM Research, challenged the participants, who consisted mainly of the staff and students from various universities across the globe, to embrace the use of data in their day to day decision making endeavors.
Speaker after speaker, reiterated the need to have innovations in various sectors of the economy and not just technology.
Challenges that have been a hindrance to entrepreneurship such as access to finance, access to markets, regulatory environment, poor coordination, gender bias, skills deficit and limited commercialization were identified and addressed during the symposium.