Ruto to Award Most Promising Innovators on Jamhuri Day.

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It has been suggested that innovators nationwide submit their goods to be honored on Jamhuri Day, during the first Presidential Innovation Award ceremony. According to President William Ruto, the government launched the awards on Monday, emphasizing innovation as a key component of its development plan and directing its goals and tactics accordingly.

He noted that on December 12, during Jamhuri Day celebrations, the most promising innovations will be recognized with awards. “This year’s edition will be the pilot phase of the award and will consider submissions from all counties in the areas of food security and agriculture, digital transformation, healthcare, entertainment and gaming, climate action, and green energy,” added the president.

‘Innovating to Unlock Our Common Wealth’ was the focus of his speech at the Kenya National Innovation Week – Commonwealth Edition at the College of Insurance in Nairobi.

“I welcome participation from inventors and wish everyone the best of luck with their creations and pitches. On Jamhuri Day, I’ll see you,” he added.

The President acknowledged the youth at the ceremony as the country’s most innovative force, recognizing their companies for raising $700 million (Sh106.8 billion) in 2022, making Kenya a premier location for investment in Africa. He claimed that innovations are what will open doors to jobs for Kenyan youth, who make up the majority of the country’s unemployed population of millions. 

“As a young nation with a vision of an economically secure posterity, we have no choice except to recognise innovation as a highly promising instrument for unlocking the doors of unprecedented opportunity,” he stated.

In light of the part innovation plays in the nation’s economic transformation, the President declared that the government is taking steps to increase funding to the national innovation agenda from 0.8% of GDP to 2% of GDP.

The Kenya National Innovation Masterplan was launched by the government during Innovation Week, which Patricia Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, also attended.

This 10-year program aims to strongly encourage innovation, value creation, and competitive advantage as essential elements of the nation’s growth plan.

“To achieve these objectives, the master plan therefore focuses on policy enhancement, infrastructure upgrades, the enhancement of skills, market growth and a start-up ecosystem,” Ruto stated.

The President stated that the government is very deliberate in encouraging the innovative mindset, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, from a young age through the competence-based curriculum, all the way up to the higher education level, in an effort to facilitate the rapid development of globally competitive innovators. 

He claimed that in order to further integrate innovation into Kenyan policy, the Innovation Masterplan will work in tandem with the Kenya National Innovation Agency.

A Ministerial Roundtable on Science, Technology, and Innovation will be held on Tuesday, according to the President, who stated that he will organize it as part of this endeavor in light of the public sector’s exceptional ability to support market-driven initiatives and the private sector.

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