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The Nairobi Innovation Week began on Monday 1st August with about with 8 pre-events through to Tuesday 2nd August. Prof. Mbithi facilitated one of the pre-events at the Serena Hotel on “Effectively Coordinating the National Innovation Ecosystem” The panel included H.E. Amb. Yahel Vilan – Israel Ambassador to Kenya, Julius Korir, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and Jeremy Awori, CEO Barclays Bank of Kenya just to name a few. Other pre-events included Design Thinking that were facilitated by Georgia Hill and Moses Rono from UNICEF. The Bikeshare Design Challenge ran from Tuesday through to Friday, it was facilitated by Britney Ryden from UN-Habitat and Dr. Tonny Omwansa.

The opening ceremony was held on Wednesday 3rd August at the Taifa hall. The occasion was graced by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. In his opening remarks, he thanked the University of Nairobi for organizing such an event and asked the visiting chancellors from other universities and other institutions of higher learning to take note.

“We are in need of further innovations in health care, agriculture and financial services. Too many of our people do not have health care they can afford,” The President said. “As a government we will increase the capitation of this event from next year by KSh. 100 million to cater for this event,” he further remarked.

Tonny Omwansa

Dr. Omwansa explains the 3D printer concept to the President at the School of Physical Sciences UoN Exhibition Tent. From left Hon. Mohamed, Hon. Mucheru, Prof. Aduda and Dr. Rattansi

He went on to encourage government ministries to engage and purchase products from innovators as to enable them to scale up their businesses. The president visited various exhibitors showcasing their innovations.

Thursday 4th August was marked plenary sessions at the Taifa Hall with various speakers across different sectors both in government and the private sector. One of the plenary sessions that stood out was a key note presentation by Chris Fabian from UNICEF. Mr. Fabian engaged the delegates on venture investing and the UNICEF Innovation Fund.

Curtains came down on the second edition Nairobi Innovation Week on Friday 5th August 2016 with the closing ceremony at the Taifa Hall. The VC Prof. Mbithi made is closing remarks and thanked all stakeholders including our strategic partners and innovators as well. He also presented the winning innovations and exhibitors in different categories with awards.

“The Nairobi Innovation Week 2017 will be held in March 6 – 10,” He added. The Innovation Week was moved to these dates due to the expected general election in August 2017.

Look out for more blog posts on innovations that adorned NIW2016.

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