Kenyans are making step by step strides to get recognition on the global map when it comes to innovation. The baby steps being made by Kenyan innovators have yielded fruits in various sectors putting Kenya on the global map.
There are quite a number of innovations that have come from Kenya and Kenyans have proven competitive enough. However Kenyan innovators most of the time find themselves shot in the foot due to the challenges and limitations they encounter in their journey.
The two main challenges Kenyan innovators face are lack of funds and research resources.
The recent report by e-Conomy Africa 2020 report by the International Finance Corporation IFC. Kenya emerged as one of the countries with the highest number of IT developers. Surprisingly most of these developers are self taught.
The report also highlights how Kenyans have leveraged on technology making it the best country that has tapped into the digital economy in the region.
Manufacturing and Innovation
With this steady growth in technological innovations producing expertise in various fields, the Kenyan government is doing little to invest and fund research in innovation. One key sector of innovation that if feeling this heat is Manufacturing Innovation. Kenya heavily depends on manufactured products from the west making Kenya majorly as consumer nation.
Quite a number of Kenyans have come out with their unique innovative ideas but surprisingly most of them are self taught and are relying on scrap metals or electronic wastes to forge their agenda.
Am sure you have seen innovators who have come up with bright ideas from innovating wireless chargers, making aesthetic arms with AI capabilities, coming up with locally made motor vehicles to making an airplane.
As most developed countries and companies fund and build labs for innovators, here in Kenya most innovators are left for the dogs to go their way with little or nothing to support them. They finally end up in dumpsites in search of waste products for their productions.
It’s for this reason that their innovation from the waste goes back to waste with nothing to present to the world.
It is no secret that Kenya still has a long way to go to compete with the rest of the world in manufacturing and innovation.
Just recently,Sospeter Chiguzo from Kinango, Kwale County managed to overcome all odds to innovate a car from two motorbikes. It is unlikely that his bright idea will be tapped into at least to grow his idea.
The leadership of the country needs to rise to the occasion, support innovative ideas, fund them and create an enabling environment for more innovators.