KTN Global Alliance Africa has announced the launch of its Innovation Action Plan, designed to support local and regional innovation in Eldoret. The launch is part of its pilot Place-Based Innovation (PBI) programme in Kenya.
The 10-point Innovation Action Plan was presented at EldoHub’s ‘Eldoret Innovation Action Plan launch’ event, bringing together different stakeholders within Eldoret’s innovation ecosystem. The launch gives the KTN Global Alliance Africa team, its local partners, and the new Eldoret Local Innovation Network (LIN), a clear roadmap to meet its vision for the future, and to nurture and scale homegrown innovative solutions that meets local problems.
Speaking during the launch, EldoHub Executive Director Magdaline Chepkemoi said: “Through close collaboration with KTN Global Alliance Africa, by 2025, we are looking forward to Eldoret’s innovation ecosystem becoming a source of prosperity for all, with meaningful employment opportunities for a more tech-savvy workforce, and strong links with regional, national and international partners.”
Sheilah Birgen, KTN Global Alliance Africa Kenya Country Lead said: “Today, we’re excited to be launching our first initiative in Eldoret to deliver both a Local Innovation Network and Innovation Action Plan, because this is going to support the grassroots innovation ecosystem which will mean more meaningful opportunities for jobs and growth around Eldoret. We are shifting the focus to Kenya’s vibrant secondary cities because we recognise that innovation is happening everywhere across the country, not just in Nairobi. To have the impact we want to have, and to support job creation and inclusive growth everywhere, we must start decentralising opportunities for innovators throughout Kenya.”
Josephine Gauld, British Deputy High Commissioner said: “The UK is committed to support and champion local consultative, stakeholder-driven innovation specific to local contexts and to working collaboratively with all Kenyans. This is critical to creating a sustainable and connected ecosystem to deliver more meaningful opportunities for jobs and growth. The Eldoret Innovation Action Plan is a good example of our support towards more equitable partnerships between the UK and Kenya by harnessing science, technology and innovation for economic development and poverty alleviation – for mutual benefit.”
The Eldoret Innovation Action Plan was co-created following a series of design workshops with different local stakeholders within the Eldoret innovation ecosystem, including the County Government of Eldoret, to identify regional innovation challenges and outline practical solutions. After the launch, the plan will be used collaboratively to deliver a demand-driven 10-point programme, to include a range of network-building opportunities with local, national and international networks (including learning alliances with other cities), and business and capacity development programmes including an Entrepreneurship Accelerator Bootcamp, a University Hub Incubation Programme and Innovation Exchange Challenges across different priority sectors. The 10-point plan also includes digital transformation training, job matching and internship programmes, as well as establishing a locally-run ICT virtual Learning Hub.
KTN Global Alliance Africa’s long-term ambition is to deliver scalable impact, job creation, inclusive growth and poverty reduction, by promoting opportunities for knowledge transfer, and skills building, supporting local businesses and innovations to develop stronger and more effective regional innovation ecosystems.
Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is the UK’s innovation network, which exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real-world solutions. KTN Global Alliance Africa is a 6-year project co-funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), with the strategic partnership of Innovate UK. Four project-level initiatives will be piloted in 2021 in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with one of these focused on Place-Based Innovation.
KTN Global Alliance Africa’s Place-Based Innovation intervention will strengthen the capacity and resilience of local innovation ecosystems through first working to better understand regional challenges, capabilities and potential for innovation, and then supporting action-orientated local innovation networks in areas of high potential.