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President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech during the launch of IBM Research Lab at Catholic University

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech during the launch of IBM Research Lab at Catholic University

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Published by State House Kenya
President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech during the launch of IBM Research Lab at Catholic University, Nairobi
President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech during the launch of IBM Research Lab at Catholic University, Nairobi

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Published by: State House Kenya on Nov 08, 2013
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Good Morning,Ladies and Gentlemen,I am pleased to join you this morning at this important occasion. I consider the occasion important because it dovetails very well with my Government’s agenda of transforming Kenya, in line with our ision !"#" $lueprint, to join the league of middle income countries. Let me ta%e this early opportunity to most sincerely than% I$M &orporation for choosing Kenya as a location for your '!
 Laboratory globally. (e do not ta%e this gesture for granted. )our decision to locate this investment in Kenya is, indeed, a vote of confidence in our country as an investment destination of choice. I also wish to than% the &atholic *niversity of +astern frica for providing the land on which this Laboratory is hosted. )our commitment to building strategic partnerships for e-cellence in research, science and technology is indeed welcome.Ladies and Gentlemen,ver the last ten years or so, we as a country have made commendable progress towards con/uering disease, illiteracy and hunger, which have been the main goals of our development agenda.(e have done well in most health indicators on account of the investment we have underta%en in promoting healthcare0 and this has also been the case with respect to education where the number of school1going children  joining primary schools increased dramatically following adoption of free primary education policy in !""#.2owever, despite this progress challenges still remain that re/uire serious and bold actions by the Government, wor%ing, of course, with the private sector which we consider the engine of growth of our economy. 3overty remains a major problem with more than fourty percent of our people living under one *4 5ollar per day. 6he problem of unemployment, particularly among our youth is still a major problem.(e therefore need to grow our economy by not less than '"7 on average annually for a number of years if we are going to defeat these challenges of poverty, on a lasting basis. 6his is why my dministration has committed
itself to promote more investment in industriali8ation as %ey driver of growth, job creation and poverty reduction.$ut we are cognisant that to achieve our set development agenda, we have no choice but to harness the Information and &ommunication 6echnology, as well as strengthen research and innovation. Indeed, in our Medium 6erm 4trategy, we have listed the creation of I&6 hubs and the support of start1ups in the I&6 sector all over the country as a priority in facilitating Kenya9s digital ta%e1off and sustained socio1economic development. (e also intend to invest in and facilitate a digital economy by empowering youth to develop mar%et1ready software to be consumed by national and county governments, and business enterprises.Ladies and Gentlemen,My Government fully intends to redeem every pledge made to the people of Kenya. 6o do so, we will collaborate with sta%eholders in all their diversity without ta%ing our eyes off the pri8e. (e anticipate partnerships of every shape and form to accelerate our /uest. 4ome will be bilateral, others multilateral.  few will be temporary, single1issue cooperation, while others will be multidimensional and intense collaborations.(hat we have here at the I$M :esearch Laboratory is an e-ample of the best of the latter category of partnerships. It involves the academy, industry and Government. It brings together 3h5s and interns in a space replete with audacious imagination, bold innovation and energetic enterprise. I am very encouraged by this partnership between the Ministry of Information, &ommunication and 6echnology through the I&6 $oard, the &atholic *niversity of +astern frica and the I$M &ooperation. Indeed, it fits very well with my Government9s vision of a partnership for national transformation. 6hat is why it is such a pleasure to be here and witness this initiative first1hand. I am certain that by now you have interacted with what I can only call a groundswell of I&6 talent that our young people possess. Let us collaborate in developing that talent, and harness it into generating the sort of win1win dynamic that will transform lives around here.Ladies and Gentlemen,$ecause of the symmetrical nature of public1private partnerships, its envisaged activities will yield solutions and systems that will address very specific local problems through commercially viable innovations. 6he Government will provide the re/uired understanding of local and regional social, political and economic challenges, while I$M &orporation has the resource of more than a century9s industrial and innovative e-perience.
6he *niversity will give us the intellectual and academic framewor% to e-ploit the %nowledge emanating from the partnership. 6hrough applied and e-ploratory research, people will be empowered to overcome challenges and improve their lives, while entrepreneurs involved will generate incomes and employment. ;o one can lose in this partnership, and no one should be left behind.I note that the partnership intends to focus its agenda on 4marter &ities, Medical 2ealthcare, +ducation, (ater, griculture and 6ransport. 6hese are also areas which Government intends to concentrate its resources and transformative strategies. Moreover, I note with appreciation the efforts so far invested into developing various appropriate solutions.  traffic estimation and control system, which will form a %ey component of city planning, is being wor%ed on. <or motorists, this effort will culminate in a mobile phone application allowing us to loo% up road conditions and traffic in real time and suggest alternative routes.I am also happy to note that the laboratory has analysed historical water demand and supply data and developed a forecasting model for future water use and infrastructure re/uirements. 6his will help the &ity &ounty plan and improve water supply throughout ;airobi.6he laboratory has gone further and developed a solution intended to enhance diagnostic, treatment and referral of cancer cases. 6his will enhance the models already in use by the Ministry of 2ealth.6here is no one who can doubt that the innovations I have enumerated go to the heart of problems faced by all Kenyans on a daily basis. 6his is what science, research, technology and innovation should do= meet the people at the point of their greatest need. I remind everyone that this Laboratory was inaugurated in >uly, !"'!. t their present wor% rate, I e-pect the research teams to eliminate /uite a number of notorious headaches.Ladies and Gentlemen,6he vision and achievements of this Laboratory provide the confidence that it will achieve each of their aims within five years. 6hese aims include the generation of intellectual property, raising the national profile of 4cience and 6echnology, provide high1end jobs for research scientists and internships for graduates and students. It also aims to sustain a meaningful engagement and %nowledge sharing with the research and academic communities. *ltimately, all this will bolster Kenya9s image as a leading I&6 hub in the continent. s you can see, there is e-cellent reason for identifying this Laboratory as a flagship project of ision !"#".

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