Deputy President William Ruto has said the Government would intensify its support for research through increased funding.
He noted that the move would boost quality of information, thereby informing proper planning.
Speaking on Tuesday in Kasarani, Nairobi County, during the Third RCMRD International Conference, Dr Ruto said the lack of right information and the use of stale information continued to haunt the turnaround of Africa.
“Proper planning is a function of quality and accurate information; information that is well researched, backed by knowledge and evidence,” Dr Ruto told the participants.
By the continent having the correct and up-to-date information, the Deputy President said Africa would easily make sound decisions. He said the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area would be of no benefit to the people unless quality information is made available.
“Africa’s contribution to the total world trade is still marginal; a paltry three per cent. Yet for this continent, world trade plays a major role,” he said.
With the small trade number, Dr Ruto explained that leaders “must deliberate, using valid information, the kind of interventions to be pursued” to amplify commerce in Africa.
He challenged scientists to “step in with the right prescriptions” that would propel the continent forward. “We should not lose time. Neither should we make wrong decisions,” Dr Ruto insisted, adding that scientists need to partner with the government and public institutions in producing accurate data that can guide the development of Africa.
Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney argued that science and innovation should be at the centre of tackling challenges facing Africa. The CS noted that technology was a crucial ingredient in the attainment of the sustainable development goals.
“Crucially, it is research-backed data that would drive the Big Four agenda in Kenya,” she said.