REDEMPTION FOR THE YOUTH

The future, they say, belongs to the youth. I don’t know whether this is true but that’s what is widely known. Unemployment rate in Kenya is so high that a university degree, something that people used to brag about, is now perceived as worthless. University education in Kenya is now perceived by many as not fulfilling or not expected to fulfill the intended purpose or desired outcome.

I guess that’s why a majority of graduates end up depressed and committing suicide, gambling or become drug addicts and get wasted in the streets. We have seen stories on television on how a Masters Degree holder was selling roasted maize on the roadside. This is a person with so much knowledge but then there are little to no opportunities to put them to good use. Anyway that’s for another day!

Many Kenyans go through the same thing. Thousands of students graduate every year but only a few of them get jobs to sustain themselves not to talk of money to pay back student loans. Some time back, I came across a WhatsApp status that read “Stop telling young people to employ themselves and yet they do not have money. Instead tell the old people to resign and start businesses, if the government has employed you for over ten years you are mature enough to employ yourself.” I know this is a controversial statement as some of our parents are part of this, but it is the truth of the matter. Retired Vice President Moody Awuori’s appointment among a seven-member oversight board to manage the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund by President Uhuru Kenyatta is a classic example.

Ubrica has come up with the solution for commercialization of science by directly involving young university students in Africa in their project. Ubrica’s Science and Technology Parks (STPs) for the universities bring good news to inventive and innovative students. With this, university students are able to share knowledge, promote innovation and advance their research to viable commercial products. Many a young people dream of owning companies or businesses but seed money, knowledge on the market, poor marketing strategies get in the way of their dream. Ubrica will also provide STP Development and Management Service through their Scientific Real Estate Development Division (SREDD).

Every year the education ministry creates competitions for both secondary and university students, dubbed Science Congress. Every year there are mind blowing ideas but just as the years go by, year in year out most of the ideas are forgotten as soon as the competition is over. To ensure that the ideas are translated into products and services, Ubrica will establish a University Technology Transfer Office (UTTO).

UTTO’s main goal is to promote and facilitate business development and entrepreneurship by bringing researchers together with experienced entrepreneurs and investors to form companies for commercializing university technologies. Furthermore, the UTTO will create and foster new start-up companies. Through bounty competitions, the best ideas will be given seed money to start companies. This is purely good news to any inventive student and the community at large. This means there will be promotion of ideas, more jobs and improved development. 

Mayouths! Let’s get those companies running!

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