NAIROBI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday his government will nurture scientific talent in creating wealth and employment opportunities in the country.
Kenyatta said that the government will continue implementing science and research programs to help unlock Kenya's development potential.
"Science and research are key to unlocking Kenya's development potential especially in finding solutions to challenges slowing down the country's progress," Kenyatta said during the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) 50th anniversary celebrations in Nairobi.
He said Africa must continue to expand its investment in science and research for it to achieve the aspiration of becoming a prosperous and peaceful continent.
"Africa will continue to rely on scientific organizations not only to address present and future development challenges, but also to provide the platform upon which we may be able to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the digital and the biological economic sectors," said Kenyatta.
He said the east African nation will continue rolling out progressive policies to promote science and innovation, not only as the engine for economic growth but also as a means of addressing enduring social inequalities.
The president noted that science and research institutions such as ICIPE are important partners in realizing Kenya's development aspirations as outlined in Vision 2030 and the development plan dubbed the Big 4 Agenda.
He added that the country is further committed to investing up to 2 percent of the annual national budget in research and innovation which is in line with the national development programs.
Kenyatta who addressed the meeting virtually in Nairobi applauded ICIPE for its prominent contribution to the growth of science and research in Africa over the last five decades.
"As this pioneering institution commemorates its 50 years of service, in partnership with governments across the continent, we note with appreciation the central role you have and continue to play, in insect research, plant health, animal health, environmental health, all aimed at bettering human health and welfare," he said.
Kenyatta said that the Nairobi-based research institution and other similar organizations in Kenya have contributed essential technical skills and scientific knowledge that have proved invaluable to our national development.
"These contributions have led to the creation of high-quality jobs, especially for young graduates, increased foreign exchange earnings for the country and strengthened our connections, particularly in the field of academia and research, with the rest of the world," he said.
Segenet Kelemu, director general said that through its vision and strategy for 2021-2025, ICIPE is positioning itself to play an even greater role in contributing sustainable solutions to the development needs in the next 50 years.
"ICIPE will continue as one of the beacons of hope for scientific advancement in Kenya and Africa, as we pursue our goal of working with insects to improve lives," Kelemu said.
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