By Caroline Tsumah
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Joseph Mucheru urged youth to come up with an innovation that revolves around elections, which will help prevent election illegalities.
“One of the things I was hoping to see at the exhibition area was innovation that revolves around elections. That will inform and also help people to vote.” Said CS Mucheru.
The CS was speaking during the launch of Pwani Innovation Week last Tuesday, which took place at Swahili Pot Hub Mombasa County.
“No one has ventured in that area yet it’s one that has a lot of money even though it’s after every 5 years but you can harvest quite a lot during that time.” He added.
A business council is yet to be set up to ensure that it looks into ideas that revolve around innovation helping to digitize and monetize the idea, while providing the necessary data.
“We come up with great ideas and we end up selling short. You don’t see the value in the idea. You need to do the math, calculate well and quote it a worthy price before we bring up a business council that will help with that.” Said CS Mucheru.
“We want you to understand that our role as government in innovation is ready to provide the platform, and the regulations that you need to be able to ensure that your business is working. Government should not be interfering with you. Government should ensure your idea works and grows.” He added.
Chairman Pwani Innovation Week, Mr. Michael Onyango encouraged the young innovators telling them that the event will allow meet their mentors on a one-on-one level, especially if they ever knocked on their door to no avail.
“This is the only event that brings people from startups to cooperates, NGOs, Embassies and the government sector together. That simply means it’s from this place that one should take advantage and network as much a s possible. As your network is your net worth.” Said Mr. Onyango.
Swahili Pot Hub Executive Director, Mr. Mahmoud Noor said, “Pwani Innovation Week seeks to create a platform where young innovators come to showcase their ideas and link them with mentors and other likeminded people.”
Chief Officer Environmental Waste Management and Energy department, Mombasa County, Ms. Illhan Abass was impressed the event had many innovations exhibited by numerous startups, saying innovation is one thing that will solve the problem of unemployment.
Out of the millions of people in the country, “…70% are youths. There is no job that can absorb all of that but we are able to create the jobs for ourselves.” Said Ms. Abass.
The CS in his speech also urged youth to vote wisely and ensure they vote for development and people who have their best interest at heart.
“We must not be shy about the leaders we choose, if we want development and [to contribute towards] the direction our country is heading to. This idea that you are not worth anything and must rely on government is not true. Your businesses can grow you only need an environment that works.” He said.
Pwani Innovation week is an annual event that seeks to bring together leading local and global voices in youth innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, through a series of talks, workshops and functions.
This year’s theme was ‘Leveraging Opportunities Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic.’
Among topics of discussions included, Women in Tech, The role of youths in sustainable development and regulatory sandboxing, 5G and the digital economy opportunities and its challenges, Fintech post Covid-19 among others.
Others present at the launch were Belgian Ambassador to Kenya, Peter Maddens, CAS Nadia Ahmed, Ministry of ICT Innovation and Youth Affairs, Professor Bitange Ndemo – The father of Internet in Kenya, among many others from the corporate and entertainment worlds.