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Kenya consults on policy to boost nanotech uptake

The government of Kenya is consulting on a draft policy that it hopes will prioritise, regulate and coordinate research into nanotechnology in the country.

The draft, seen by Research Africa, aims to establish institutional frameworks for coordinating and regulating research and applications in nanotechnology.

It also proposes the formation of national and international nanotechnology networks, collaborations and partnerships to boost nanotechnology in the country.

The draft was formulated with input from the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation, various government ministries, the Attorney General’s chambers and local universities and research institutions.

The draft policy notes that specific legislation currently does not seem to be required to regulate nanotechnology. However, NACOSTI will create an officer-in-charge of nanotechnology to collaborate with other regulatory agencies on safety.

Moses Rugut, NACOSTI’s director general, told a stakeholders’ validation workshop in April that Kenya is lagging in research, development and uptake of nanotechnology.

He said nanotech offers big benefits for the country, including in sectors such as information communication technology, national security and safety.

The draft policy will be presented to the cabinet for ratification before being taken to parliament for debate and approval.