By Roy Hezron
Principal Secretary in the State Department for University Education and Research Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi has revealed that the government will give more support to institutions that demonstrate innovativeness, entrepreneurship and active linkages with industry and communities.
He stated that such universities will be given first priority in incentives by the government and bilateral partners so that they can grow their particular niches and deepen their research capacity.
Amb. Nabukwesi was speaking on July 1, 2022 at Multimedia University of Kenya Main Campus in Nairobi during the commissioning of the university’s National Institute for Optics and Lasers Laboratory funded by the National Research Fund (NRF).
The PS noted that we are at the beginning of the 4th Industrial Revolution that is characterized by a knowledgable economy and technological advancement, as well as revolution, unlike the ones before it that were characterized based on knowledge and the ability to apply it.
“The world is expected to have virtual and physical systems of communicating and cooperating with each other in a flexible way. To do this, the use of lasers will be key,” said Amb. Nabukwesi.
He added: “Currently, we are using laser technology to communicate and transmit data across the world. In the medical field, lasers are used to treat eyes, undertake non-invasive operations and even treat cancer just to mention a few.”
The PS observed that research, innovation and technology are the key drivers of development in the world today hence the Government has emphasized the role of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the future of economic transformations of the country.
He stated that through research and innovation, universities provide the foundations and impetus necessary for such transformations as they train graduates who are not only ready for immediate absorption into a technologically-oriented economy but who are grounded enough to be fully functional in an ever-changing work environment.
“There is no doubt that research and innovation are critical to improving the lives of Kenyans. It has made our country globally competitive, boosted economic growth and generated the much-needed jobs for our youth. This country has been a leader in the region in terms of education, manufacturing, and investment. We must continue providing technological and research leadership in the region and beyond but more specifically, come up with real solutions for challenges facing Kenyans daily,” said the PS.
Multimedia University appealed for tax waiver on equipment they use to buy for laboratories saying the tax is too high.