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Kenya, Korea signs MOU to set up a top science institution – KBC

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The governments of Kenya and Korea have signed an agreement to establish a Kenya Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to be established at Konza Technopolis.

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The Permanent Secretary (PS) of the University of Education and Research in the Ministry of Education, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi said the establishment of KAIST-Kenya is intended to provide specialized research and training in various engineering technologies and advanced science disciplines to help the country move towards modernity.

He said the Ministry was committed to nurturing Kenyans from an early age to adhere to the disciplines of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) and to develop skills and competencies in technology management as reflected in the new competency-based curriculum.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at his Jogoo House office, PS said the adoption of the Korea-KAIST model would give Kenya the opportunity to mark Korea but not to imitate the Institute’s development in South Korea, which has enabled the Korean economy to grow.

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A preliminary concept paper on KAIST development was signed in November 2013 between the National Treasury, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and the Exim Bank of Korea.

The Ministry of Education also brought in other government ministries and agencies to participate in the project.

“We will be looking for benefits for skilled graduates from KAIST-Kenya to make the best use of their Science and Technology capabilities,” Amb. Nabukwesi said, adding “this model worked in South Korea and we believe, with the right procedures and strategies, Kenya will benefit from changing the region’s story.”

He said the completion of the Institute would make it a better job of highlighting the Center for Excellence in science and engineering as envisaged in the second and third medium-term plans for the Vision 2030.

PS said the contractor for the project, BOMI E&C Consortium, has been given 24 months to submit the project and urged the contractor to work with local subcontractors for better project implementation.

Amb. Nabukwesi said the Ministry recommended the institution to be Konza Technopolis as the master plan of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority provided for the establishment of the University.

“Konza Technopolis is considered to be the green, cunning, inclusive, and vibrant green Silicon Savannah that makes it a great place for a state-of-the-art science and technology institute,” he added.

He said in line with the Public-Private Partnership approach, Konza Technopolis should promote closer collaboration with private companies, especially Information, Communication, and Technology companies.

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