The RAN Team comprised of Dr. Roy William  Mayega RAN Deputy Chief of Party Ms. Deborah Naatujuna. Engagement Manager and Ms. Natasha Kassami. Engagement Officer participated in a 3 day Tripple Helix Summit (http://triplehelixsummit.org/) in Nairobi, Kenya-April 4-6 2017 at University of Nairobi. The summit which drew over 300 participants who are key actors in Business, Resilience Innovation related work, the Academia, Government, Corporations, Policy makers, Development partners and Civil society was hosted by i-Choose Life – Africa (http://ichooselife.or.ke/). The main goal of this first ever Africa’s Triple Helix Summit even though it was the 15thsummit, was to put Kenya and other developing countries on a fast track pathway towards achieving Vision 2030 and realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals, are a global framework to coordinate efforts around ending poverty and hunger, combating inequality and disease, and building a just and stable world.

The Theme for the summit was “Accelerating the attainment of SDGs through ICTs and Data”. This momentous event served as the launch pad for action by the stakeholders to promote a shared vision, blend, co-create, co-own systems, integrate, perforate silos and avoid duplication of resources for sustainable development. The summit kicked off with an exhibition that showcased projects and innovations from different companies, government departments in line with what is being done towards attainment of the SDGs. The host and Vice Chancellor of Nairobi University – Prof. Peter Mbithi welcomed the summit delegates who were both national, international, faculty and students from the university. He pledged the universities commitment and deep involvement as a critical knowledge manager in all initiatives towards achieving the SDGs through partnerships.

The event was then officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Planning and Devolution representing Government; who pointed out that Government was keen on such endeavors and was optimistic that innovative and pragmatic strategies would emerge from this convening. He hailed the triple helix model of bringing together Government, Business / Industry sector and the university to tackle the 17 sustainable development goals. He noted that, there are 17 goals with 169 targets in contrast to the 8 Millennium Development Goals that had 21 targets. ”The complex challenges that exist in the world today demand that a wide range of issues are covered. It is, also, critical to address the root causes of the problems and not only of the symptoms.The goals are broad in scope because they will address the interconnected elements of sustainable development which include economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection and as Government steps are already being taken by re-orienting the national plans and investments” he added.

Participants were then engaged in plenary sessions, panel discussions, workshops and breakaway sessions on topical issues such as Education, Health, Environment, Food Security, ICT and Data. These were led by key players from academia, Government, World Bank, Microsoft, Vodacom, the UN, thought leaders in Health, Education, and Environment. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the past accomplishments and strides that key stakeholders had undertaken like mainstreaming SDGs into the country’s plans, localization and domestication, multi-stakeholder engagement, public awareness, resource mobilization for actualization and implementation, strategies on chatting a new way forward towards moving from non-traditional partners to approaches of financing rather thanfunding SDGs.

The RAN Innovation lab also had an opportunity to share a presentation highlighting the university based innovation incubator’s efforts in nurturing innovative ideas to tackle the complex development challenges in line with the SDGs to strengthen community’s resilience. This generated an interactive discussion on how innovations can provide a breakthrough and how we must innovate novel ways to address the looming challenges.

“For the SDGs to become a reality for everyone, we need to adopt multi-stakeholder engagement, revolutionize the way we think about communicating the goals, building partnerships, and push for more people and community centered action at the local, regional and national levels,” emphasized Mr. Mike Mutungi the CEO i-Choose life, Africa as he concluded. He also  launched the SDG Accelerator Framework together with the Board Chair Dr. Walter Jaoko. He stressed the importance of partnerships and cooperation by working together to implement the agenda for the benefit all.

The summit also provided a great platform to engage, debate, connect and share best practices towards accelerating development and attainment of Vision 2030 which needs concerted efforts of all stakeholders to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities while ensuring that no one is left behind.

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