County Profiles: Mapping the Innovation Ecosystem in Kenya

Country Profiles: Mapping the Innovation Ecosystem in Kenya

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County Profiles: Mapping the Innovation Ecosystem in Kenya

March 1, 2023

The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), a pioneering development research think tank on harnessing applications of science, technology and innovation policies for sustainable development in Africa, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Konza Technopolis conducted a study to map out innovation ecosystem in Kenya with a view to generating evidence for accelerating its growth.

The study was meant to help identify opportunities for collaboration, learning and investment and to support the growth and development of local innovators across the country. The study exhaustively mapped the Kenyan innovation ecosystem by identifying its characteristics, organization (players and actors); challenges, and opportunities, identified its key levers and highlighted emerging themes and opportunities.

The study specifically focused on establishing the status of the Kenyan innovation ecosystem across the country: characteristics, organization (players and actors), challenges, and opportunities; identifying key levers and approaches on how to stimulate the sector for more economic growth towards achieving key development agenda items (SDGs, Vision 2030), including requisite skill sets, partnerships, and resources; and highlighting emerging themes and opportunities for collaboration, partnership and cross-learning.

In light of the above, these county profiles are meant to augment and supplement findings of the study by providing a deeper understanding of the various innovation ecosystems within specific counties. The counties were selected based mainly on their perceived development of the ecosystem and geographical location. The profiles illuminates the similarities and differences between the specific countries and the challenges and opportunities that exist within them.

In as much as Nairobi sets the benchmark for the innovation system in the country, other counties have not been left behind. On evidence of the information on these profiles, the innovation ecosystem in counties outside Nairobi are vibrant and growing, a clear indication of their potential.