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PIA Winners in Kenya Receive Awards in Statehouse

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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At the Presidential Innovation Awards, winners received their checks at State House in Nairobi yesterday. This marked a significant occasion in Kenya’s drive towards youth empowerment and innovation. 

Presidential Innovation Awards

It was hosted by the President of Kenya, President Ruto, and attended by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy, and Sports, Mr. Ababu Namwamba.  The award ceremony commemorates the innovative spirit of Kenya’s youth in tackling societal challenges through creative ideas.

James Nyamai from Makueni County emerged as the overall winner. He got the prestigious Sh5 million prize for his creative and innovative concept. 

About Presidential Innovation Awards

The PIA is a branch of the Talanta Hela program, which is under the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Arts, and Sports, and is fixated on developing the entrepreneurial capacity of innovators across the country.

The major goal of the Presidential Innovation Award is to push innovation as a catalyst for economic development by grooming entrepreneurial mindsets and commercializing potential among Kenyan innovators.

It seeks ways to motivate and support creative individuals while making them use their creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills to impact society positively.  Also, it aims to recognize and reward the excellent work of top innovators within the country’s sectors and is designed to improve the entrepreneurial abilities of innovators and creatives nationwide.

Goals and Of Presidential Innovation Awards

It fosters innovation: It positions innovation as a driver for socio-economic development. It also builds entrepreneurial mindsets and commercialization of abilities in Kenyan innovators.

Objectives Of Presidential Innovation Awards

Scouting and Identification: The initiative seeks and identifies favorable, innovative ideas that provide solutions nationwide.

Advertising at Kenya Innovation Week: It showcases the most outstanding creative ideas and highlights promising startups during Kenya Innovation Week.

Recognition at Jamhuri Day Celebration: The Awards will recognize the achievements of the most promising innovators and startups at the Jamhuri Day Celebration.

Commercialization Support: PIA will support the commercialization of promising innovations through a Presidential Accelerator program.

Eligibility Criteria for PIA

  • You have to be a Kenyan citizen
  • Your initiative has to solve a present problem in the country.
  • Have a standard understanding of your market and a viable customer acquisition strategy.
  • Have your product tested and piloted.
  • Intellectual property or proprietary technology.
  • Have an active and permanent team with the right skill set.
  • No prior funding or awards from the agency.
  • Finally, founding members have to be aged between 18–35 (except for PWDs, 18–40).

Areas PIA Focuses On: 

Food Security and Agriculture: Creating ways to increase food production, improve agricultural practices, and enhance access to nutritious food.

Digital Transformation: Making use of digital technologies to transform business processes, improve efficiency, and enhance customer experiences.

Healthcare: providing solutions that address various healthcare challenges, from prevention to monitoring and health promotion.

Entertainment and Gaming: Creating ways to enhance the quality, engagement, and accessibility of entertainment and gaming experiences.

Climate Action and Green Energy: Creating ways of focusing on reducing emissions, mitigating climate change impacts, and promoting a low-carbon economy.


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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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