The Government has reiterated its commitment to financially support the construction of science and technology parks in public universities in line with the big four agenda.
Speaking at Chuka university when he visited the ongoing construction of what will be the country’s pioneer science and technology park once complete, Principal Secretary University Education and Research Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi noted that the innovation park which is currently at 50 percent completion will not only support the growth of research among the youth, scholars, and innovators but will also enhance the growth of businesses and create employment opportunities in Tharaka Nithi County.
Kshs 7.5 billion is required to complete the project whose implementation commenced during the 2014/15 financial year.
The PS acknowledged the commitment which has so far been put by the university in mobilizing and utilizing resources prudently to construct and equip the science park and urged other universities to emulate Chuka university as it transforms into a modern research institution that will eventually attract donor funding, strengthen university linkages and utilize young vibrant brains.
The institution has so far spent Ksh 5bn through mobilized resources towards the phased construction and equipment. The PS recognized the commitment so far made by the university and said the Ministry of education will support its completion through the national treasury.
Noting that the university had come up with products that enhanced food security, improvement in health care, and innovations in science and technology, the PS urged the institution to create partnerships with other developed countries such as Iran, China, and Japan whose industrialization had been propelled by similar parks giving an example of China which had over 100 science parks and send their students to some of the best countries in the world.
He added that the science parks will transform innovation in university education by creating strong linkages between users, government, and the industry.
“Kenyans have ideas but we need to practice what we know in order to succeed and improve competitiveness, increase employment and provide solutions to problems facing Kenya,” said the PS.
Amb. Nabukwesi also visited the institution’s radio station and encouraged students to take advantage and apply for scholarships being offered annually by several foreign countries through the Ministry of education website.
During his visit, the PS also launched the faculty of law which also has a moot court.
On his part the University Vice-Chancellor Prof, Erastus Njoka appealed to the Government to consider allocating additional resources to support the university in completing the science park and other ongoing infrastructure developments.
He added that they had already put in place a lot of resources but require additional to ensure the pioneer science park is successful.
He added that the park will create networks between academics, industry, and the public sector. Prof. Njoka said ones complete, the science park will consist of research and development hubs, startup centers, incubation hubs, exhibition halls, offices, mini industrial areas, business, and training centers.
Other leaders present during the event included: county commissioner Tharaka Nithi Beverly Opora, members of the university council, and senior ministry of education officials.