The Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) issued a Ksh. 800,000 grant to two youthful innovators to work on a solar powered cooking boilers project.
The agency gave the grant to the two Nyamira based youths through the sola kijiji program.
Speaking during the award ceremony in Gekomoni secondary school yesterday, KeNIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Tonny Omwansa said that the money will go a long way in developing the innovation and help in its commercialization.
Dr. Omwansa said that the idea was among the four that made it to the finals across the country.
The exercise centred on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big 4 agenda.
KeNIA holds an annual award for innovations that better lives of Kenyans.
“KeNIA recognizes, celebrates and supports innovations that are focused on the President’s big 4 agenda,” said Dr. Omwansa.
“We have acknowledged and seen what they have done and seen what the funds we have allocated them will do.”
He added that the agency had connected the innovators to partners who will help them to develop their innovation to the next level.
The CEO commended the innovators and promised to connect them to more partners if they show desire to grow their product.
The solar cooker is aimed at conserving the environment by reducing the use of firewood in large institutions hence increase forest cover.
“If our innovators show intention to grow, we will connect them to more partners so that they can grow and commercialize their product,” he added.
The agency’s chairman, Prof. Reuben Marwanga said the innovation was promising and would attract more funding for its eventual massive rollout.
He said that the agency has come down to counties to support such innovations.
“It is my hope that KeNIA and county governments will work together to tap such innovations for national development,” Prof Marwanga said.
Prof. Marwanga who is also eyeing Nyamira County’s gubernatorial seat said that if elected, he will create an innovation hub.
The undertaking will encourage the youth on matters creativity and innovation for self-sustenance and national growth.
“This will address the issue of unemployment and poverty,” he said.
Abuga Erastus is co-innovator of the solar powered cooker which he started with a colleague in 2018.
Erastus said that though the project was draining finances, they were happy when KeNIA came in and supported them.
He said that they believe the project, once completed, will offer a solution to environmental conservation.
It will reduce deforestation in the country and also reduce the cost of cooking.
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