Kenyan researchers and scientists over the years have been exposed to training programs in Ireland on Science for Development. They have also participated in mentoring secondary school student projects for the British Telecom Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) in Ireland which has been in existence since 1963.
At the launch of Young Scientist Kenya in July 2017 with Mr Robert Masese (Director General Secondary and Tertiary Education at Ministry of Education), Amb. Dr. Vincent O’Neill (Irish Ambassador to Kenya) and Dr. Tony Scott (founder of Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition in Ireland)
In Kenya science education is considered to be a key driver to innovation and socio-economic development.
Following the establishment and launch of Young Scientist Tanzania, which is now in its 8th Year, the Kenyan Government (Ministry of Education), has now decided to establish the program in Kenya.
Young Scientists Kenya is a unique and premier opportunity that will involve Public, Private Sector and Civil Society stakeholders to follow the success of the Irish model.
Ireland continues to attract technology and innovation. Ireland hosts 8 of the top 10 global ICT companies, 9 of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies, 3 of the 5 top games companies, 10 of the top ‘born on the Internet’ companies, 50% of the world’s leading financial services firms, 17 out of 25 global medical device companies.
According to IBM’s 2015 Global Locations Trends report, “(Ireland) continues to attract investment projects in industries characterized by high knowledge intensity and economic value added, such as life sciences and information and communication technology (ICT).”
Socio-Economic Transformation- Kenya Vision 2030
The achievement of the goals of Vision 2030 will significantly depend on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) as enablers of socio-economic transformation and the involvement of government, academia, industry, civil society and private sector. While ST&I can provide a multi-sector stimulation effect and a strong foundation on which to build a national innovation culture for Research and Development, the role of government and other strategic partners will include creating an enabling policy environment, mobilizing resources and providing the necessary infrastructure, mentorship and other supports to motivate teachers and students to excel in science.
Overall, the effective development of a science culture and motivated Kenyan students with an interest in force in innovation & technology sectors which is crucial for stimulating research and development, attracting technical Foreign Direct Investments and enhancing job creation.