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Kenya requires Sh100bn for research annually: Kaimenyi

By Mercy Ndirangu
Kenya requires Sh100billion to establish a national research system that will meet the country’s socio-economic and industrial needs, the Cabinet Secretary for Science and Technology Jacob Kaimenyi has said.

Prof Kaimenyi said the country allocates Sh400 million, which is about 0.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to researchers for important research projects, an amount which is negligible compared to the country’s research needs and potential.
Prof Kaimenyi made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Secretary for Education, Dr Belio Kipsang during a Stakeholders Consensus-Building Workshop on the design framework and establishment process of the National Research Fund (NRF) at a Nairobi Hotel.
 The fund, established under the Science and Technology Innovation Act, 2013 will facilitate research for the advancement of science, technology and innovation.
The Act envisages that the Government sets aside two per cent of the country's gross domestic product, which is about Sh60 billion, to provide the initial capital every financial year towards research.
Stakeholders expected that additional financing of the fund to come from special allocation by Parliament, donations, endowments, grants or gifts from whatever source designated for the Fund, levies generated from licenses for research projects.
 According to African Science Technology Indicators report done by New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) three years ago, the Government of Kenya allocated 0.5 per cent to research, an amount way below the country’s research requirements.
“The research Fund will enable the country achieve faster development as it ensures human resource capacity development and research,”   Prof. Kaimenyi noted.
He, however, regretted that the government was facing challenges getting local philanthropists to invest into research.
“We will now have an institution that can manage funds from different sources and for specified projects,” Prof Kaimenyi noted.
He asked rich Kenyans to support development by investing in research.
The workshop, which was organised by Consortium for National Health Research (CNHR), Ministry of Education, drew participants from local Universities and research institutions.
Present included the Chairperson of National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), Prof Njeri Wamae, Senior Deputy Secretary, Isaac Nyaribo and Director of CNHR, Prof Gilbert Kokwaro.

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