The Kenyan government will soon adopt a comprehensive policy to promote use of nanotechnology in diverse fields like medicine, agriculture, manufacturing and environment.
State officials said on Tuesday a draft nanotechnology policy will guide exploitation of this emerging technology that herald immense economic, social and health benefits.
“Nanotechnology as a science promises more for less. The competitive edge for Kenya as a developing nation lies in robust investments in this technology,” Njeri Wamae, chairman of National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), said in Nairobi.
Nanotechnology is relatively new in Kenya though the government has prioritized its development through research, training and setting up of supportive infrastructure.
Wamae noted that enactment of a nanotechnology policy will position Kenya as a hub for emerging technologies that would revolutionalize key sectors of the economy.
“Nanotechnology will accelerate our country’s socio-economic transformation. It will fuel innovations in healthcare, food production and water purification,” said Wamae.
The Kenyan Vision 2030 blue print root for investments in new technologies to accelerate industrial progress. Wamae noted that application of nanotechnology will tackle health challenges, pollution and food insecurity.
Nanotechnology refers to manipulation of small particles to produce a range of products in a more efficient and cheaper manner.
The scope of nanotechnology has expanded to cover industries like electronics, food and beverages, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, textiles and ceramics.
Policy briefs from Kenya’s scientific research body indicates that globally, nanotechnology was incorporated into manufacturing goods worth over 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2005.
The briefs added that nanotechnology related business was worth 2.6 trillion dollars by 2015. Kenya has borrowed best practices from industrialized countries and emerging economies to develop nanotechnology.
Professor Erastus Gatebe, an official at Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), noted that China and India offers vital lessons on harnessing nanotechnology to propel industrial growth.
“At this stage, Kenya is focusing on research, capacity development and public awareness to promote nanotechnology,” Gatebe said. Enditem