The architectural and curriculum design of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to based at the Konza Technopolis was launched yesterday February 12, 2019 marking a major milestone in the development of the Konza Technology City.

Dr Kun Mo Chung, a member of the Kenya National Economic Council said, KAIST, projected to admit the first 120 engineering and technology students in 2022 will be funded by the Korean government through the Export Import Bank at a cost Shs. 9.4 billion.

Speaking during the kick off of the design of the of KAIST at the Konza Technopolis on Tuesday, ICT and innovation Principal Secretary (PS) Jerome Ochieng explained that the government is working towards establishing universities and centers of excellence at Konza Technopolis to act as engines of social and economic transformation in the country.

“The first phase of the university at Konza is expected to provide a minimum flow area of 429, 000 square meters and will accommodate a minimum of 6, 500 students, 520 staff and 260 faculties,” said Ochieng.

He continued… “Kenya is becoming a knowledge based economy with greater reliance on intellectual capacity, human development, research and technology. We have been hailed for our innovative capacity but have been faulted for our poor track record on skills and technology transfer from the university to the industry and commercialization of the academic research; we rank poorly in the number of registered patents.”

The Principal Secretary explained that, “as a country we need to move fast to patent home grown innovations and solutions that can be commercialized to accelerate the adoption of technical and scientific advances to grow the economy”.

Mr Ochieng said the ministry has set up a taskforce that will look into the emerging technologies and give recommendations on how to tackle disruptive technologies with a view of up scaling utility of various technologies in different sectors of the economy.

Korean Ambassador to Kenya Yeonghan Choi said that KASIT will solidify the partnership between Kenya and Korea through science and technology which has become core in manufacturing, banking and other service sectors.

“Korea is more than willing to help Kenya leapfrog to an advanced economy as envisioned in the Kenya Vision 2030 and more recently the big4 agenda through science and technology,” said Choi.

The PS state department for University Education and research Prof. Collette Suda said that the design of KAIST and other developments at the Konza Technopolis should embrace solar technology and make use of the abundant sunshine available in the area.

The PS said that the KAIST Kenya aims at taking advantage of the potential of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to catapult the country towards realization of the Vision 2030.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority CEO Eng. John Tanui said that the Konza Technopolis project, seating on a 5, 000 acres of land is envisaged to cost Shs.1.4 trillion on completion.

KAIST Kenya is modelled on the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) which is credited for transforming the Korean economy into a world leader in science, engineering and innovation and lifting the country out of poverty.

February 13, 2019 – By Cheruiyot Korir