World Conference on Science Parks to boost Kenya’s digital transformation agenda

Kenya is set for another global event when it will play host to over 7000 delegates for the 41st International Association of Science Parks (IASP) an annual global gathering of Science Parks and Innovation Hubs. This will come hot on the heel of last year’s successfully held African Climate Summit.

“The government’s digital transformation agenda has attracted global recognition and it will get a huge boost when Konza Technopolis, which has been tasked by the government to drive its digital transformation agenda, hosts over 7000 global leaders and investors from Science Parks and Innovation Districts in Nairobi in September this year,” the PS in the Ministry of Information Communication and Digital Economy Eng. John Tanui said.

The PS was speaking in Malaga, Spain at the end of a two-day global board meeting of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) where he represented Africa as the IASP African Division President to discuss the association’s future strategy and to outline the path for IASP to follow in the year to come.

The gathering will explore the role to be played by science parks and areas of innovation, not only in empowering regions such as Africa and Asia to harness the potential of their burgeoning youth demographic, entrepreneurship and technology for economic growth but also in addressing the challenges posed by a global population that is steadily ageing under the theme – “Demographics, entrepreneurship and technology: Defining the frontiers of future economics.”

“We will be hosting this important meeting at a significant time when the African Continent is experiencing rapid urbanization due to digital transformation and an increased acceleration action aligned to SDG goals in this decade of action. The experiences of Global Science Parks offer opportunities for Africa to advance swiftly into the 4th industrial era with science, technology and innovation taking the Center stage”, he said.

The Kenya Kwanza government has focused on upscaling digital skills for the youth, through the Jitume Program to empower them to take advantage of the emerging job opportunities in the digital space.

Eng. Tanui assured the Global Board, comprising leaders of Science Parks that Kenya and the entire IASP African Division is well prepared for the 2024 conference in Nairobi. The hosting of the conference will give more spotlight to the role of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation in economic and social transformation and in particular boost Konza’s position as it seeks to attract investors to take up space and set up various cluster of investment in technology, education, real estate and industry to benefit from its status as a Smart City, Science Hub and Export Processing Zone (EPZ). The meeting will also reflect on critical components of collaboration across the world to ensure there is a sufficient talent pool, innovation and technology base, to sustain the global economy

Preparations for IASP Nairobi are already in progress and the call for papers is ongoing. The PS encourage active participation from science parks and Areas of Innovation from Kenya and Africa to join the world in sharing the perspectives from Africa via the website.

The IASP Board is made up of 15 members from Australia, China, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and USA and is chaired by International President Lena Miranda from Linköping Science Park, Sweden


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