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14
Feb

INNOVATION THROUGHOUT HISTORY

Necessity is the mother of innovation. Just over two centuries ago, historians estimate that the population of human beings on planet earth during the industrialization age was at 1 billion people. In 2016, the population is estimated to be over 7 billion people. Innovations in this period greatly increased the life expectancy of human beings. Such innovations include vaccination of diseases such as small pox by Edward Jenner. Increased populations present challenges as well opportunities to innovate.
The advent of the information age began in the 1970’s when companies such as IBM began manufacturing microcomputers for the general public. 7 billion people require constantly evolving innovations and inventions to cater for their needs. Innovations in industries such as banking have come a long way in meeting such needs. Luther George Simjian invented the Automated Teller Machine for the growing number of bankers in the mid-20th Century.
At policy and administration level, the needs of 1 billion people are considerably different from the needs of 7 billion people. 7 billion people require bigger proportions in delivery of either goods or services. Governments of the world are unable to specifically meet the individual needs of the people they govern but they create an environment where people can start up their own business to solve human centered problems.
The Kenyan innovation eco-system has grown in the last few years due to emerging needs and an ever-growing middle class population. The purchasing power of citizens in Kenya has improved in last few years. With a growing population, delivery of goods and services needs to be constantly re-invented. The County Government of Nairobi estimates a population of 9 million people living and working in Nairobi in 2030. Innovations such as Mpesa have become a popular way of money transfer. This greatly reduces human traffic within the city in regard to money transfer.
They say that knowledge is power. The internet connects the entire world through computing devices. With internet and information, people are empowered to innovate and solve problems they face. For example, taxi companies in Kenya have taken up the idea of meeting their potential clients on technological platforms. This is cheaper and convenient to the end user. Thus, the inventor saw the need to connect the clients to the taxi drivers and through technological knowledge, he/she invented a platform where the taxi drivers and clients interact. Currently, Uber has the biggest market share in Kenya as they are constantly re-inventing themselves through innovation.
The Nairobi Innovation Week will be held between 6th and 10th March 2017. The event is expected to attract over 4000 delegates. President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the opening ceremony of the Innovation Week at Taifa Hall, Main Campus. He pledged financial support to the subsequent events as well as challenged the vice-chancellors in attendance to plan and execute such forums for students and the youth within our borders.

3 Responses

  1. Great Wayne! I’ll keep you posted. Please let me know what yo&82u#17;d like to see cover?We have the outlines ready to launch but nothing is written in stone.

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