A research center benchmarked exactly from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will be established in Konza, the tech-innovation city of Kenya, which aspires to become the Silicon Valley of Africa. While there have been cases where KAIST partially exported its curricula or research programs to the Middle East or China, this marks the first time for the Korean technology institute to implement its education, research, and operation models in a foreign country since the school was founded in 1971.
KAIST announced Monday that it will export its education and research models to Kenya. On Friday, the institute won the final bid for the consulting project to establish a Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (provisional title), which had been issued by the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, and conducted by the Konza Technopolis Development Authority.
Under the new contract, KAIST will hand down its overall management knowhow to Kenya over the next 36 months until the Kenyan science institute will open in 2021, helping it draw up curricula, prepare the equipment and facilities for research, and forge cooperation between industry and academia.
The Kenyan science institute will be built on a total space of 33,057 square meters in the city of Konza, 70 kilometers southeast from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Initially, the institute will offer six academic courses including mechanical engineering, electric and electronic engineering, ICT engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, and agriculture and biotechnology engineering. The annual admission cap will start from 120 before gradually expanding to 300.
The establishment of the Kenyan science institute is one of the core projects to build the technology and innovation city of Konza, an agenda driven by the Kenyan government to burgeon into Africa’s Silicon Valley. The Kenyan government set out a mid-and long-term national development plan called "Kenya Vision 2030" to become an intermediate powerhouse by the year of 2030, and it is pursuing to establish a technology institute to foster the nation’s future engineers and scientists.