The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) has elected Eng. John Tanui, CEO, Konza Technopolis as its new IASP Africa Division President.
Eng. Tanui takes the mantle from his predecessor Ms. Hauwa Yabani who is the CEO of Abuja Technology Village Free Zone Company in Nigeria. She took the leadership in May 2019 from Botswana Innovation Hub CEO Alan Boshwaen, becoming the first IASP Africa Division female president since it was established in 1984.
The IASP organisation is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental, membership-based organisation with worldwide network bringing together over 350 science parks whose key objective is to coordinate an active network of professionals that manage areas of innovation. IASP is in a Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Eng. Tanui will now lead the Africa Division and also represent Africa in the international board whose IASP members include Botswana Innovation hub in Botswana, Konza Technopolis in Kenya, Innovation Hub in South Africa (SA), East London Industrial Development Zone Science and Technology Park in SA, Free State University in SA, Royal Science and Technology Park in SA, Abuja Technology Village Free Zone Company in Nigeria, Lion Science Park University of Nigeria, Road Map Engineering in Sudan, Morrocan Information Technopark Company in Morocco and Science & Technology Park for Electronics Research & Industry in Egypt among others.
Speaking during the ceremony held virtually, Eng, Tanui said:
“I want to offer my gratitude for the confidence bestowed on me to lead the IASP Africa Division. When I received the news of my installation as the new President for the IASP Africa Division, I reflected on two major pillars; One was that of the leadership showcased by my predecessor Ms. Hauwa and the other is the potential of innovation in Africa,”
He added that his responsibility comes at a time when Africa needs to tap more into science and its digital potential to meet the needs and challenges of the continent.
“The call to be the IASP Africa Division President came with the reflection on Africa’s innovation potential that largely remains untapped. With statistics from the e-economy Report of 2020 by Google and International Finance Corporation (IFC) indicating that Africa’s digital economy will have value of over $180 billion by 2025, this responsibility has come at the time when I believe we need to work together to unlock these vast opportunities as a team,” said Eng. Tanui.
He emphasized the need for collaboration and unity among the members as they seek to create new business opportunities from their innovation parks.
During the event, the IASP Africa Division launched its publication that is aimed at keeping its members and audience informed about developments at each of the parks. The publication will also be circulated to over 350 IASP members globally, in the process increasing visibility of Africa innovation parks among investors and sponsors.
IASP is in 75 countries globally, with more than 115,000 companies working with its members. Apart from advocating for exchange of best practices and learning from each other, the organization also provides training and consultancy on innovation parks and strategic profiling while enhancing global visibility of its members.
In March this year, Konza Technopolis organized the IASP Africa Division Forum that brought together top IASP leadership, including the IASP CEO Ms. Ebba Lund. The Forum, themed “The Place of STPs in Africa’s Economic Recovery – Impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement” highlighted the role of innovation and science parks in unlocking Africa’s economy amidst prevailing circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.