UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

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Top innovators to be recognized

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Dr. Walter Fust, Chairman of the Foundation Board, Innovation Prize for Africa and Prof. Peter Mbithi, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi, during the meeting.

Talks are underway between the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Innovation Prize for Africa to reward top innovators in the country and more so those with top notch innovations in the forthcoming Nairobi Innovation Week 2018.

This was revealed when Dr. Walter Fust, Chairman of the Foundation Board, Innovation Prize for Africa, paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi.

In his remarks, Dr. Fust said that the foundation has been at the forefront of rewarding innovators across the continent.

“We are firm believers that we need more innovation in Africa. We have been engaging the African Union on how best to reach the continent to catalyze the spirit of innovation. We have the biggest database of 8,000 innovators. Out of that number, 10 top innovators get rewarded every year. They receive funding and support,” he said.

Innovation Prize for Africa are also working with African Academy of Sciences and Kenya Academy of Sciences to get as many innovators as possible.

On his part, Prof. Mbithi, noted that the University has embraced innovation and hence the academic programmes have inbuilt experiential learning.

Prof. Timothy Waema, from the School of Computing and Informatics and Lead Advisor, Nairobi Innovation Week, explained in details how the University of Nairobi has catalyzed innovation through the Nairobi Innovation Week. During the past three years, the University has embraced those with innovations and has given companies an opportunity to exhibit their innovations, launch products and give presentations.

“Scholars are allowed to give paper presentations of their latest findings,” he said. “Embassies and the corporate sector have been very instrumental in conducting training on innovation and supporting start-ups who give sales pitch of their various innovations. Several business start-up owners have been able to get funding to help them scale their businesses.”

It was agreed that Innovation Prize for Africa will be one of the participants at the forth-coming Nairobi Innovation Week 2018 and beyond where top innovators will most likely be honoured.

Also present during the meeting was Prof. Chrispus Kiamba, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, Director, Innovation Prize for Africa, Robinson Esialimba, Process Manager, Innovation Prize for Africa, John Orindi, Director, Corporate Affairs and Johnson Kinyua, Director, University Advancement. 

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