University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi speaking during a breakfast meeting with business leaders where he urged support for hosting this year’s technology and innovation exhibition event (Nairobi Innovation Week) on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at the Nairobi Intercontinental Hotel.
Preparations for the annual technology and innovation exhibition event (Nairobi Innovation Week) are showing early signs of success as C4DLab brings on board relevant government ministries and corporates to support the initiative.
With only a month and a half to put their house in order, C4DLab and the University of Nairobi are evidently under pressure to ensure huge success, with over 1,500 delegates expected to attend the second edition running from August 1 through 5 this year.
“This year’s edition is expected to break last year’s record which stood at over 700 delegates, 13 sponsors, 50 exhibitors and over 50 research papers,” said University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi on Tuesday during a breakfast meeting with various business leaders.
Noting that the five-day event now has a regional outlook, which meant that it required full participation of both Government and private sector to ensure successful execution, the Vice Chancellor called upon interested parties to join hands with the University of Nairobi to enable the technology exhibition week secure national recognition and beyond.
“Innovation and its transformative effect is something that we all want to be associated with. But we all know it is hard work and takes collaboration in order to achieve valuable results,” he said.
On his part, Prof Mbithi pledged to dedicate all university resources in support of the initiative he saw as playing a big role in stable future prosperity of the nation.
“I know that each of us is doing something in one way or another to grow our innovation ecosystem and it our hope that we will pull together for the ultimate prosperity of our nation,” he observed.
Incidentally, his remarks had set the ball rolling, which culminated in government agencies, media houses and other private companies jostling for the platform to pledge full support.
“Innovation is also at the heart of what Nation Media Group is doing and so we are interested in being involved as a longterm partner,” said a representative of the media house Group Chief Executive.
Other partners in the making include ministries of Higher Education, Science &Technology; Industrialization &Enterprise Development; Information, Communications & Technology; Ministry of Industry, Trade & Cooperatives, the Kenya Intellectual Property Institute(KIPI), among others.
Coming hot on the heels are companies such as Intel, Oracle, IBM, not forgetting the body representing Kenya’s business community, Kenya Private Sector Alliance(KEPSA).
This comes even as UNICEF Kenya plans to outdo Barclays Bank of Kenya which last year earned the top spot as the title sponsor with Equity Bank, Craft Silicon, Safaricom, Microsoft, Israel Embassy, Intel, Thomson Reuters, IBM Research, Konza Technocity, Jambopay, as well as National Commission for Science,Technology & Innovation(NACOSTI) following suit.
Meanwhile in unexpected turn of events, the world body for children protection and education (UNICEF) came on board in early May to sign an MoU that set the stage for collaboration with C4DLab in various projects, among them the Nairobi Innovation Week programme.
“So far even Equity Bank and KCB Bank have pledged generous financial support,” said C4DLab Coordinator, Dr Tonny Omwansa on the sidelines of the special breakfast meeting held on Tuesday in Nairobi.