At NIW2016, President Kenyatta remarked that his administration would promote and encourage innovations in manufacturing and health. He noted that our economy imports more than we export but we have a lot of resources we can harness to grow our economy. “Innovation in the manufacturing sector and health should be at the heart of our economy. Institutions of higher learning should train the youth to become innovative in these sectors,” added President Kenyatta.
In context, President Kenyatta was talking of job creation within the economy. If startups are accelerated into growth, they will directly create employment opportunities at least for the founder/s. Developed economies have policies that encourage innovation in their economies, innovations that promote growth of the economy and job creation. For this reason, most billion-dollar companies are founded within North America and Europe. In other words, innovation directly promotes the lives of people leaving a real and tangible impact. NIW aims to build an innovation culture in the country and the region. Since inception, we have grown in the number of startups that get involved in the event over the years. The organizing committee chaired by Dr. Omwansa created a new spin off dubbed “NIW.Startups”.
Innovation is all about creating the future you want, an alternative future. The unemployment rates in Kenya and the region are quite high with a non-governmental organization recently stating that the education system is churning out almost a million graduates every year (from secondary schools up to universities). Thence, we need to have a sustainable way of absorbing these graduates into employment. Innovation is the answer. The government and private sector can only employ so many people with a bulk of them left to fend for themselves an alternative source of livelihood. With innovation, we can rise above this debacle of unemployment. Innovation is all about creating an alternative future.
NIW2018 was our inaugural event with the startup agenda as the heart of the event. NIW.Startups will find and fete the most promising startups in Kenya. Through these platform, the startups admitted to the program will be accelerated to the next growth phases in their life cycle. We hope to create more partnerships that will truly impact the future generations.
“Our sincere wish is that something at NIW2018 opened your eyes and inspired you in a way that calls you to action. Inspiration by itself is of little value without action just like technology has shown us through the years. In conclusion, be decisive, be different set your goals and work towards them.”