In his budget speech, the Minister for finance Hon. Amos Kimunya has outlined a number of proposals to promote science technology and innovation in order to enhance growth and employment in the country. To achieve the long term growth of the country he proposed several measures in key sectors of the economy. One of the 5 key measures meant to spur higher productivity and expanded employment opportunities is promotion of industrial research, technology and innovation
He reiterated that science, technology and innovation will play an important role in driving the country’s growth through promotion of efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
To entrench a culture of science, technology and innovation, he said the government will introduce several proposals for debate in parliament including;
- A national policy for science, technology and innovation
- A bill to upgrade the National Council of Science and Technology to the National Commission of Science and Technology
- Creation of the National Science Foundation and National Innovation Agency.
He also said that the government recognizes the critical role played by SMEs as catalysts for economic transformation and industrialization. To this end the government will facilitate SMEs growth. The government will also facilitate expansion of business incubation services to support over 100 additional enterprises and creation of 100 software development enterprises.
To achieve these objectives the Minister allocated Ksh. 300 million towards innovation and piloting program covering various projects such as;
- Fish leather processing in Kisumu
- Mango processing in Malindi, Kerio Valley and Muranga
- Mini-leather processing in Garissa, Pokot, Migori and Bungoma
- Honey processing in Eldama Ravine, Kajiado and TARDA regions
- Cashew nut and palm wine processing in Kwale and Malindi
- Fruit processing in Meru, Tharka Nithi and Kendu Bay
- Rehabilitation and upgrading of technology for a leather development center in Nairobi.