2ND ECOSYSTEM ENABLERS FORUM

BUILDING A STRONGER KENYAN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM THROUGH COLLABORATION

Caption: L-R ASSEK CEO Ms Mercy Kimalat and KOTDA CEO Eng. John Tanui at the ASSEK KONZA MOU signing

We are glad to announce that on March 23rd 2022, we officially signed an MOU Partnership Agreement with Konza Technopolis Development Authority, which will be aimed at creating a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem.

This collaboration will allow for the setting up of favorable incubation frameworks and policies that will nurture talent among entrepreneurs looking to scale their ventures through innovation.ASSEK will utilize its membership network and partnerships, while KoTDA will provide infrastructure and international linkages to actualize the goals of the MoU.

Speaking during the session was our CEO, Ms Mercy Kimalat who stated that ASSEK was delighted to sign an MOU with KONZA Technopolis, a process which was begun in 2020, and the association would be looking to collaborate with the government agency in the following ways :

  1. Implementation of the Start-Up Bill – In line with the association’s objective of driving policy, ASSEK will partner with KONZA Technopolis stakeholders in obtaining feedback in the different StartUp Bill stakeholder forums that would be held across the country.
  2. Internationalization of players within the Kenya Entrepreneurship Ecosystem- Through this partnership, activities around policy lobbying, visibility programs and market linkages in the Kenyan ecosystem would be showcased. This would enable  Kenya to be positioned as a thought leader in the Global Innovation Index (GII).
  3. Increased availability of space at the KOTDA incubation facilities would enhance the collaboration of players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem space.
  4. Development of Programs and initiatives, that will enable Kenya to provide a platform for knowledge sharing mechanisms and initiatives.

We also had the KONZA CEO, Eng. John Tanui was present at the event. He lauded the collaboration stating that it would be an avenue to grow Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was estimated at USD 107 Billion. This would be increased through the pipeline of vibrant startups which would be enabled through this partnership. 

During his address, he expressed his hopes for the partnership stating it would:

  1. Growing the Start-Up Ecosystem in Kenya -He stated that startups were critical in developing solutions for the country’s economic breakthrough. Through startups, jobs would be created while employment rates would increase thus creating a vibrant economy.
  2. Providing incubation and spin-off services and facilities for innovation-based enterprises as well as startups.
  3. Developing impactful sectoral organizational structures through leveraging on the KOTDA’s superior ICT enablement and ASSEK’s representative strength in the innovation ecosystem.

With Innovation  Entrepreneurship in Kenya being on a steady growth tangent, several efforts have been made by the government to effectuate the uptake of digital solutions to scale entrepreneurial ventures. Some of these initiatives established by KONZA have been the Konza Innovation Ecosystem Initiative (KIEI) which has seen 20 new youth-owned companies created and also seen over 1000 youth being able to support and develop new ventures. Konza Technopolis is a member of the IASP organisation which is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental, membership-based organisation with a worldwide network bringing together over 350 science parks whose key objective is to coordinate an active network of professionals that manage areas of innovation.

Through the partnership, we as an association hope to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem through the establishment of research and incubation centers, provision of market linkages, knowledge centers and visibility of the innovation entrepreneurship ecosystem.