Strathmore hosts Irish delegation for Smart Innovation Collaborative Forum

Led by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation of the Republic of Ireland, H.E Heather Humphreys, an Irish delegation largely comprising of tech companies, was hosted by Strathmore University in conjunction with the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya. The minister was accompanied by the Irish Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Fionnuala Quinlan.

Strathmore-Irish link

In his welcome address, Strathmore University Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Odhiambo emphasized on the significance of the roots and connections the university shares with Ireland. Noteworthy was the remembrance of the late Kevin O’Byrne whose insurmountable roles define present day Strathmore University. Of Irish descent, Mr. O’Byrne, a pioneer in his own right, came to Kenya in 1958 and helped found Strathmore College, the first multi-racial, A-level institution. Prof. Odhiambo reiterated the need for partnerships and collaborative approaches with international universities, giving an account of the shared initiatives between Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and Strathmore University especially in regards to data science and innovation.

H.E Heather Humphreys gave her address on behalf of the Irish delegation of investors, companies and enterprises. In her opening statement, she was quick to convey a congratulatory message to Kenyans in the field of athletics, specifically her celebration of Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge EGH. Her address delved on the significance of the gains achieved by collaborative partnerships between the two countries not only in the public sector but also in the private sector with specific emphasis to technology. She urged the audience to embrace smart economy, a key ideal in the strategic plans of renewing the Irish economy.

Smart use

The forum brought together a showcase of Irish technology and telecommunications companies with a common overriding principle among them all: “smart use”. This entailed the best and most innovative with a focus on delivering solution-driven products. Kshs. 4.8 B  worth of contracts had been signed between Irish and Kenyan companies during the visit by the minister.

Companies present had the opportunity to pitch to potential investors. The minister witnessed the signing of agreements and contracts between Kenyan and Irish companies.

This article was written by Agage Benjamin, a student at the Strathmore Law School.

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