Call for abstracts: Kenya’s 2015 National Science Week

Kenya’s National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology have issued a call for abstracts for the fourth National Science Week to be held on 11-15 May 2015 in Nairobi.

The event consists of an exhibition, robotics contest and a conference. The aim of the conference is to share and identify practical, evidence-based solutions to science and technology development in the post-2015 agenda in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 national strategic development plan.

The conference will bring together academia, researchers, scientists and practitioners working in universities, research organisations, industry, civil society, government and other stakeholders.

The theme of the conference is The role of science and technology in the post-2015 development agenda. The sub-themes are:

  • agriculture and food security
  • energy and climate change
  • environmental and natural resource management
  • water, sanitation and health
  • knowledge management and technology transfer

Visit the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology website for more information on how to submit abstracts.

The deadline for submission is 31 March 2015.

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Call for papers: 9th JKUAT scientific, technological and industrialization conference

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has announced its 9th annual scientific, technological and industrialization conference to be held on 13-14 November 2014 at the JUKAT Main Campus in Juja, Nairobi, Kenya.

The theme of the conference is Science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for sustainable development. 

The objectives of the conference are to:

  1. Provide a forum through which the university will disseminate the ongoing contributions it is making to the society.
  2. Create a forum for constantly improving the university’s approach to development-oriented scientific research, as it strives to remain a leader in this area.
  3. Provide a forum for research peers from local and international institutions to discuss, share and publish vital information.
  4. Provide an opportunity for the industry to interact with researchers and innovators through exhibitions.
  5. Provoke policymakers to appreciate the need for substantial and long-term investments in scientific research, innovation and industrialization.

For more information and to find out how to register, please visit the conference website.

KARI to host exhibit of agricultural innovations by farmers in eastern Africa

Various local and international partners are working together to host the Week on Agricultural Innovation in Africa on 25–31 May 2013 where various events regarding agricultural innovation systems will be discussed.

The Eastern Africa Farmer-led Innovation Fair (EAFIF) will set the scene for the Agricultural Innovation Symposium in Africa (AISA).

The fair will be held on 28-29 May 2013 at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Kabete grounds in Nairobi and will bring researchers and policymakers in contact with selected farmer innovators from Eastern Africa region.

The focus will be on recognizing the role of smallholder farmers, both men and women, in agricultural innovation.

The fair and the symposium will lead to identification of priorities for research, practice and policy to strengthen the innovation process in smallholder agriculture.

The EAFIF organizing committee has already shortlisted 50 “game-changing” farmer innovations from eastern Africa to be exhibited during the fair.

These are mostly low-technology innovations but with a potential for replicability and up-scaling.

The innovations broadly fall into the following categories:

  • Livestock production
  • Crop production
  • Marketing, technology and social innovations
  • Soil and water management

ICT for development: where are the African researchers?

If a tree falls in the middle of the forest and nobody hears it fall, does it make a sound?

An article in SciDevNet titled Research on ICT for development ‘lacks African’ voice’ prompted me to wonder why it is that the ‘voices’ of African researchers are not being heard in regard to the potential of ICT applications for development, especially since Africa bears a great burden of poverty, disease and environmental degradation, all of which are targets for strategic reduction via the Millennium Development Goals.

Is it that the research is being done but not being published widely in international peer-reviewed outlets? Or is it that the research is not being done in the first place? How do we get the findings of research carried out in public universities and published in MSc and PhD theses off the dusty library shelves and into the hands of policymakers?

It’s not enough for the African researchers to “speak”… they must also ensure that their voices are being heard in the right forums and by the right audiences. How else will their work have a positive impact on development?