Close

START UPS

Trade ministry receives Sh5 billion to boost innovation

Current innovations have had minimal impact in driving Kenya’s economy.

In Summary

• KEIP, which is a six-year project is set to increase innovation and productivity in about 200 select private sector firms.

• The credit facility was given at a two per cent interest rate with a 30-year repayment period with World Bank offering a five year grace period.

Trade CS Peter Munya during a press conference.
Trade CS Peter Munya during a press conference.
Image: PATRICK VIDIJA

The industrialisation department under the Trade Ministry has received a $50 million (Sh5 billion)  from World Bank for infrastructure support for innovations in Kenya.

Speaking at the launch of the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project, the initiative’s project manager Stephen Odua said, despite the country witnessing a number of innovations, they have had  minimal impact in driving Kenya’s economy.

KEIP, which is a six year project is set to increase innovation and productivity in about 200 select private sector firms.

“The challenge could be innovators are unable to reach the traditional industries,” Odua said. “We want more participation by innovators in both regional and international markets.”

KEIP is looking to increase innovation and productivity in over 200 select private sector firms.

Odua said about 132 of these companies should be geared towards creating an M-Pesa- like effect on Kenya’s economy.

The the International Development Association, the arm of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest and developing country, awarded the credit facility at a two per cent interest to be paid over a 30 years. There is a five year grace period.

 World Bank Kenya director Felipe Jaramillo welcomed the initiative adding that there was need to boost the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“This can only be done by supporting intermediaries such as hubs, accelerators, incubators and technology boot camps as well as establishing greater linkages between local start ups and traditional industries,” he said.

The programme also aims to establish links between local start ups and international networks as well as between academia and the industry to fuel economic growth.

 Investment and Industry PS Betty Maina said despite the partnership being a step in the right direction, a lot more still needed to be done to increase firms’ productivity in the country.

“It is important that what you are producing can be commercialised and utilised by small business," she said.