- HACO Industries and the University of Nairobi have signed an agreement to collaborate to advance Kenya’s Fourth Industrial Revolution
- The move is part of the company’s wider aim to bridge the gap between industry and academia in the country
- The Collaboration Agreement focuses on building a symbiotic relationship that will enhance both institutions’ research and development capacities
HACO Industries and the University of Nairobi have signed an agreement to collaborate to advance the Fourth Industrial Revolution as part of the company’s wider aim to bridge the gap between industry and academia in the country.
The Collaboration Agreement focuses on building a symbiotic relationship that will enhance both institutions’ research and development capacities within the context of a highly dynamic and technological manufacturing sector.
It also looks at fostering the co-creation of knowledge that will contribute toward knowledge transfer and increased innovation capacities for university students.
HACO Industries Managing Director Mary-Ann Musangi said that the country’s demographic divide could either be an opportunity for economic progress or their greatest undoing.
Musangi noted that estimates indicate that 50 per cent of the youth in Africa will be unemployed and economically inactive by 2025.
She added that for a continent with a population of 65 per cent young people, this has led to the ongoing debate of whether Kenya is ready for the 4th Industrial revolution (4IR).
“It is beyond doubt that young people have a huge role to play in ushering in the new digital era; Kenya’s readiness for 4IR shouldn’t be the question, but the capacity for young people to steer and promote the 4th industrial revolution should be a top agenda.”
The University of Nairobi, represented by the Chairman Chemistry Department under the Science and Technology Faculty, Professor David Kariuki, echoed these remarks. He emphasised the institution’s enthusiasm to partner with the local industry to create unique solutions to the country’s unemployment challenges.
‘This is the first time that the University of Nairobi’s Chemistry Department has partnered with a local manufacturing company in this way. As a homegrown manufacturing company, HACO Industries should be an enabler of young homegrown talent.”
“We should be able to attribute the firm’s advancement in the region to locally trained talent born out of this partnership. Similarly, this partnership promises to yield valuable knowledge to boost the manufacturing sector’s competitiveness through joint research studies and publications. It is heartening to see industry taking a step towards bridging existing gaps between them and academia and building a robust talent pipeline that guarantees employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young graduates.”
Through the Agreement, HACO Industries will receive students and teaching staff for periods of time, as well as provide input on curriculum development and short courses.
Musangi said the initiative is part of the company’s sustainability agenda. It focuses on education and skills development as a key pillar to drive its business development plans for the next 3 years.
HACO will step up its engagement with stakeholders in the Education sector, specifically TVET institutions, to drive this agenda and open opportunities for more young people, especially women, to join the manufacturing sector.
In a separate story, HACO Industries recently announced that part of its operations at its facility in Kasarani, Nairobi, is now powered by solar PV technology in a move to help cut energy costs and save the environment.