Laikipia County is all set for the 2019 Innovation Fair which is happening on May 30th to 31st at Nyahururu Stadium.
The event, which will be presided by the Cabinet Secretary-Trade and Industrialization, Hon. Peter Munya, will feature more than 100 leading economists, political and economic commentators, opinion leaders and other experts to say the least.
Laikipia County is at the forefront of ensuring that Kenya’s agenda of development that is anchored on the Vision 2030 comes true, which is why it is taking steps to promote and encourage innovation as well as entrepreneurial ventures that will catalyze the economy and create jobs for its citizens.
Therefore, this year’s edition of the Laikipia Innovation Fair is showcasing more than 100 homegrown ideas from various innovators apart from ensuring that the participants get a chance to seek partnerships with the right investors and experts to drive business and economic growth.
According to Hon. Ndiritu Muriithi, Laikipia County’s Governor, his government has partnered with other industry players that will support the whole value chain that establishes both production and market access of goods and services by the innovators.
“Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of our innovation fair is the remarkable strides we have made this far. It is worth noting that right now and from the innovation fair effort of the past year, already seven products are retailing at our partner supermarkets with a cumulative effect of 187 jobs created directly and indirectly,” read a message from the Governor.
With innovation being one of the major drivers of economic transition, the Laikipia Innovation Fair 2019 is part of Governor Muriithi’s desire of creating 30,000 jobs in Kenya’s economy.
The fair marks a perfect platform where local products are promoted with hopes of wooing more Laikipians to venture into the manufacturing industry while at the same time encouraging them to buy and sell their own products.
Currently, the program is working in conjunction with 200 start-up companies and 22 partners, drawn from agriculture, manufacturing, ICT and engineering sectors.
All the innovators were registered through an online and manual process. The online applications were accessed through the County Government’s website. The manual platforms were developed to capture all the verifiable information.
Vetting was done by a technical committee of 7 members who were selected from various relevant departments, who look at the content and ideas of the innovation.
After the vetting (preliminary stage) the members do physical visits to assess the innovation and the products based on the thematic areas of ideas. Through this, the team is able to come up with a list of innovators fit for the program based on the impact it will have on the lives of the residents of the county.
Those innovators with unique ideas and products get the chance to meet potential customers, clients, investors and other partners in the program who will certify the products.
One of the key players helping in the certification of the innovators’ products, is the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Samuel Njogu, an innovator from Nyahururu behind the BJ-50 TukTuk, had his product certified and now more units of his machine have been ordered across the country by both individuals and corporates.
Already, Njogu is creating job opportunities and 15 people are currently working under his project.
Another amazing story is David Mburii who came up with the concept of a machine that dries maize. He has employed 20 people and owns workshops in Mwireri, Umande Ward.
Those are just two examples of Laikipia Innovation Fair success stories so far. Others are as shown in the image below:
Meru University is the latest to seek collaboration with the Laikipia Innovation Program. Other partners include Laikipia University, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Numerical Machining Complex, regulatory bodies like KIPI, KEBS, AMSCO and Gearbox Kenya and the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, among others.
Five innovators will visit Rwanda in December this year, in a platform that will enable them to display their products and gain knowledge on product quality as an enabler to scale up their Laikipian made products.
Being a platform that seeks to support innovation in a bid to drive the industrial revolution in the country, it is no surprise that the Laikipia Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair links the innovators to potential financiers.
It also gives the innovators amazing ideas to scale up their production, establish partnerships and opportunities for incubation and above all, provide a platform for training opportunities to better their products.
Save the date. See you at Nyahururu Stadium.