MACHAKOS UNIVERSITY HOSTS INNOVATION WEEK AND OPEN DAY
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Machakos University held its second innovation week from 24th to 28th February 2020 at the University’s Sports Grounds. The Theme of the event was: “Innovation and Technology Transfer for the Big Four Agenda”. The event was officially opened by Dr Tom Mboya Okaya, on 26th February, 2020. Dr. Okaya is the founder and convener of MUSPRA 2 STEM and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director at Kangema.
Hon. Lazarus Kivuva, the Machakos County Executive Committee Member (CECM) – Education, Skills Training and Social Welfare, presided over a colourful Closing Ceremony on 28th February, 2020.
The official opening was preceded by a procession from the University gate to Machakos Town and back, as part of publicity efforts. The procession was flagged of by Prof. Peter Mwita (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Innovation and Linkages) on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lucy Irungu.
Talking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of Machakos University, Prof. Lucy Irungu, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovations and Linkages) Prof. Peter Mwita, noted that innovation requires not only giving people incentives but also creating enabling environments where ideas are nurtured with the right and friendly ecosystem where all people including innovators, employees and entrepreneurs are supported and provided with right tools.
On his part, Dr. Tom Mboya stressed on the importance of innovations in realizing the Big Four Agenda. He said that innovations are shaping the modern world and appreciated Machakos University for taking the forefront. While encouraging students to invest their thoughts in innovations, Dr. Mboya mentioned that the current initiation of Huduma Number in Kenya stems from an innovation done by a high school. In this regard, Dr. Mboya said that the only world without limits is the world of innovations as in it, the mind has plenty to explore.
Several community stakeholders participated in the event, among them: Machakos Women Prison, Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind (MTIB), Masaku School for the Physically Disabled (MSPD), Emploi, Tribus TSG (Ajiry app), TME Education, Leafy Life Ltd, I Choose Life Africa and African Art Best.
During the event several innovations were displayed, which included:
- The iVoting- an innovation that can solve problems of voting in Kenya.
- Extraction of Mercury from waste- an innovation that can reduce cases of cancer from the vegetables we consume daily.
- Generating clean energy for cooking and heating from recycled diapers and papers, solving both the problem of waste disposal and environmental pollution.
- Mystical making of beads using legs by the Machakos School for the Physically Disabled. A moving exhibition from the school was one in which a girl draws, writes and does presentations using her fool. Below is her photo being greeted by Hon. Lazarus Kivuva.
- The Shiatsu (Japanese Massage) by MTIB – a medical innovation that can assist society in medical issues related to joint aches, sprains, arthritis, neck and back pain, sinusitis and bronchitis, among others.
- Digital platforms for education, payment of house rent and utility bills, and linking employers and job seekers, that can solve the problem of high levels of manpower development, youth unemployment and transaction costs.
Apart from innovations, Machakos University academic programmes were also showcased. High school students and their career teachers from various schools toured the exhibitions and attended Open Day. They were taken through the career clinics for career and academic mentorship. In addition, the students were given a tour of the University Library.
While delivering his closing remarks, Hon. Lazarus Kivuva promised that Machakos County would give financial assistance to needy pupils with disabilities from institutions that participated in the event. The CECM challenged Machakos University to organize a much bigger Innovation Week and invite more training institutions from the county and the general public to participate. He also intimated that the County was ready to support the event.
Best projects were awarded prizes, with the overall winner taking KSh.10, 000, second-best KSh.8, 000 and third-best KSh.7, 000.