IREN ANNOUNCES TOP 14 COUNTY SOLUTION HUBS IN THE LAKE REGION ECONOMIC BLOCK
Top 14 County Solution Hubs that demonstrated a high level of initiative and drive to address county challenges from the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) have been selected to showcase in the upcoming IREN Technologies and Innovation Challenge (ITIC-2018) Trade Expo. The ITIC-2018 expo set for November 29th, 2018 in Kisumu will feature key solutions developed by the 14 hubs of 3-5 members from the initial 28. Each County Solution Hub was tasked to come up with technologies and innovations relevant to their immediate food security challenges. All participating hub members went through a 6-month mentorship program to identify the challenge in their county; conceptualize the viable solution, work as a team to actualize the solution and develop a prototype.
Some of the solutions developed by the Top 14 County Solution Hubs include: the development of a pest control solution, driers for cereals, tomato processor and storage units to prevent post-harvest losses. Some on-farm initiatives include a solar powered water pump, a weeding machine that doubles up as a grain processor, an improved knapsack sprayer and a machine that manufactures fertilizer from egg shells. Others include a solar powered poultry hatchery and a portable dairy feed maker. Some digital platform initiatives include Mfugo Bora, Mkulima Voice and Mfood to link various actors along the agribusiness value chain.
The top 14 County Solution Hubs will showcase and pitch their innovations to development partners, government, educational institutions, for-profit organizations, farmer associations, trader associations and investors. The ITIC-2018 challenge attracted participants aged 18 and above from Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Nandi, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Vihiga Counties.
“We congratulate the 14 County Solution Hubs that have emerged top. We welcome more partners to join the initiative and expand the solution offer to the counties,” said Veni Swai, Senior Programme Officer for Friedrich Naumann Foundation, East Africa. “The key to county solution hubs is to give agency to citizens to address challenges that face them and compliment county and national government efforts to development” said Mr. James Shikwati, Team leader at IREN.
The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) is conducting the inaugural ITIC-2018 in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The objective is to promote smart food security solutions in the LREB counties.
About the partners
Inter Region Economic Network, Ltd. (IREN) has managed over 18 business competitions for the last 15 year years. IREN has for the last three years created screening and training platforms for Start-ups and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises across the East African region. IREN ‘s three focus areas include Think Tank for public policy analysis targeting wealth creation in Africa; Enterprise Development to promote investor ready enterprises and consultancy. www.irenkenya.com
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation for liberal politics in the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims to promote the goal of making the principle of freedom valid for the dignity of all people and in all areas of society. The support of human rights, rule of law and democracy in more than 60 countries form the core of the work of the regional offices in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central America. International and transatlantic dialogue programmes are used to promote these three values.
In East Africa, the foundation supports development of think tanks that network liberal thinkers, come up with shared concepts for development and progress by working with liberal partner organisations in the political realm as well as civil society. The Foundation is also working on a project to promote secure property rights with the aim of improving food security in the country. www.africa.fnst.org