Kenya National Innovation Agency launches 2023-2027 strategic plan

Kenya National Innovation Agency launches 2023-2027 strategic plan

Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy, and Sports, Hon. Ababu Namwamba today launched the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. The strategic plan will be geared towards meeting KeNIA's mission statement of developing and managing a dynamic national innovation system that catalyses jobs and wealth creation.

KeNIA's 5 years strategic plan

KeNIA has within the last 3 years of its operational existence already rolled out various programmes such as the Research to Commercialisation Accelerator, offered Institutional Support to Universities in commercialising their research outputs, developed a digital marketplace for innovators and investors, Kenya Innovation Week, Presidential Innovation Award, the Kenya Network of Entrepreneurial Institutions Leaders, among others.

"I am happy to launch this important institutional document that has outlined key pillars, including:

  • Commercialization Systems.
  • Startup ecosystem
  • Institutional Capacity.
  • Promotion and Awareness.
  • Policy, Legal, and Regulatory Framework."

Remarked the CS.

The new strategic plan outlines an ambitious plan for the agency that has set out the following recommendations to strengthen the National Innovation Ecosystem:

  • KeNIA to create an inventory, and document innovations and start-ups at the county and national levels and increase awareness of the services offered by innovation hubs to the public.
  • KeNIA to strengthen the capacity of innovators through training, provide learning and growth linkages, support the commercialization of innovations, and facilitate access to funds for youth and other vulnerable groups.
  • KeNIA to spearhead the development of a framework to enhance collaboration among all entities engaged in innovation activities to improve
  • service delivery to the Kenyan innovation ecosystem.
  • KeNIA to map out the funding landscape for innovation in Kenya: Not all sectors attract funding. It is evident that sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, Agriculture, Fintech, Energy, and E- commerce are the top four best-funded sectors in Kenya, while sectors like health, housing, water, and sanitation attract less funding.
  • The Government through KeNIA will develop an information portal on funding opportunities: There are potential sources of funding, which have not been adequately exploited by the Kenyan innovators such as the Youth Enterprise Development
  • Intellectual Property Rights: KeNIA should support innovators in protecting their innovations through intellectual property rights.
  • KeNIA should formulate recommendations to foster an innovation culture in Kenya, particularly on how the Government can provide tax reliefs to investors in innovation, akin to reliefs available to the sports industry.
  • KeNIA to spearhead the development of a framework to enhance collaboration among all entities engaged in innovation activities to improve service delivery to the Kenyan innovation ecosystem.
  • KeNIA to invest more in enhancing the appropriate skills for innovation development, commercializing innovations, and managing innovation hubs. Investing in skills and talent will contribute to boosting Kenya's innovation performance in future rankings.

While speaking during the launch, the CS affirmed that the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy set up youth centres across all the constituencies and directed KeNIA to upgrade them into innovation hubs where innovation support programmes will be implemented. The CS also challenged KeNIA to leverage the 10-year Innovation Master

Plan, launched by H.E President William Ruto in 2023 to develop a coherent Innovation Policy and Strategy to drive the ecosystem forward.

This strategic plan has aligned itself with the fourth Medium-Term Plan (MTP IV) of Kenya's vision 2030 that is aimed at creating jobs and enabling citizens to meet their basic needs, The Kenya Kwanza Bottom-up economic model, sustainable development goals (SDGs), among other national economic approaches in setting the momentum for economic transition to the next long term development agenda for the country.

The Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) has been tasked with developing and overseeing the Kenya National Innovation System. Therefore, the strategic plan is designed to comprehensively align with the agency's mandate through various strategies.

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