Kenyatta University(KU) is set to become a hub of technology to offer training opportunity or expertise on different technologies for Kenya’s workforce. The institution has already allocated space for its construction towards realization of the project.

This was disclosed by Ag. VC Kenyatta University, Prof. Paul Wainaina in a conference and exhibition on 3D printing organized by African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in the month of May. The theme of the conference was ‘3D printing for Sustainable Manufacturing in Africa.’

The conference aimed at creating awareness among innovators, professors, students on the importance of embracing 3D printing for industrial development.  It is clear that most of the employment job level fall under the arts category accounting for about 60 per cent while little percentage is left in the area of automation or technology.

The main topics discussed involved the status and future of 3D printing in Africa, science and technology of 3D printing and applications of 3D printing technology.
“3D printing is agile, cheap, versatile and accessible technology that people should be alerted on so that they can be prepared on what to expect in future. Thus, it is the responsibility of academic institutions to create space for growth of local capacities for smart and knowledgeable participants,” said ACTS Executive Director, Dr. Cosmas Ochieng.

Executive Director, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Prof. Berhanu Abegaz, appreciated the organizing committee for hosting the conference and emphasized on high valued education in terms of engineering and design for attainment of manufacturing ability.

The conference comes at a convenient time when Kenya is struggling to adapt various technologies to combat with climate change, energy consumption and digitalizing the education system among others.

On the other hand, Dr. Bitange Ndemo was delighted to be at the conference to talk about technology specifically the application of 3D technology in dealing with problems, solutions and people. There is a notion that disruptive technology will come with its demerits like high level of unemployment. “About 85 per cent of jobs which involve manual application will be eliminated by embracing new technology but it doesn’t mean it will create joblessness, more technologies equal more jobs,” insisted Ndemo.

Addressing the challenges associated with new technology like poverty, Emmanuel Kalezi, UNIDO(United Nations Industrial Development Organization) representative for Kenya, Eritrea and South Sudan stated that 3D printing will improve manufacturing in Africa hence craft demand for sustainability.

The continent has not been positioned to adapt 3D. Though with computer aided design can create technologies that conventional machines can’t from customized health care systems to automated machines. Therefore, nations need to deliberate on policy implementation and appropriate strategies in an effort to create a balance of computerized and conventional manufacturing. Trends like 3D printers, automated robotics, and internet of things, which can be used to solve a wide range of sociology-economical issues across Africa.

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