SR article

Analysis 5: Innovation

According to Hekkert (2007) there are seven functions for an innovation system. These seven functions will all be explained in the context of the economic or technological sector of our internship. After the explanation there will be discussed what actions are necessary for the successful implementation of our internship.


The innovation system of the Pokot area is overall lead by entrepreneurial activities of the EPMP. They’ve started bee-keeping with the woman of the Pokot community. Furthermore, they give workshops for more awareness of HIV/Aids and they provide care for the community. This entrepreneurial attitude comes mainly from the EPMP, but there are some other small businesses in the village. To make sure the Pokot community will gain some entrepreneurial skills and become little entrepreneurs themselves, the EPMP wants to educate some community members during the construction of the resource centre and dispensary. At the same time, they want to create ownership in the community so they will take care of the buildings all together.

In order to educate and create ownership there is the need for knowledge development. In the Pokot area there is an important need to gain knowledge about a sustainable way of life. A sustainable way of thinking would increase their living conditions. Within our internship we hope to let the EPMP and maybe the Pokot gain knowledge about how to collect rainwater and how to properly store this. To achieve this, we’ve done a lot of research about the water engineering.

The EPMP will diffuse this knowledge with their network to the Pokot. This can be done through workshops in the resource centre. But also to educate some members of the community more people of the Pokot will get in contact with a ‘better’ way of living. This is part of guidance of the search, where you see that nowadays the centres nearby a tribe will be their connection to the habited world. Another preference you see is that organisations strive to create a way of life where the people within the community can be self-sufficient. This can only be achieved when you work within the thoughts of the communities: working with the grain.

An important challenge is how to get the Pokot community to the resource centre and the dispensary. In order to create a market for these buildings the location is really important. That’s why the EPMP and team Pokot are really happy with the ground they got assigned from the government in the centre of Barpello. This creates a good accessibility. Another way to get the community to the location is to give them free water when they will participate in a workshop of come for some health care. The involvement of the elders at the location can also be an important way to get the community to the location.

The involvement of the elders shows us an other important issue. Namely the mobilization of the resources. This can be achieved by mobilisation of the stakeholders and to make sure to involve in the project to create consciousness. To create legitimacy there have to be acceptation of the EPMP by the Pokot community. Only then there will be less resistance to change whereby you can discuss such things as female circumcision or change in their way of living.

The country

Business system

In general, there are three sorts of business sectors in Kenya: the public, private and informal sector.

In the public sector there are the parastatals, characterized by their monopolistic production. Essaymonster (2016) cites: ‘’Their management is highly indigenised; appointments of top managers however are often politically motivated. Parastatals is a term applied, especially in Africa, to an organization established by a government but which, through its constitution and budgetary arrangements, enjoys a great degree of operational freedom and insulation from direct political interference.’’

The private sector is dominated by non-indigenous traders, such as multinationals. Essaymonster (2016) cites: ‘’The non-indigenous traders often occupy a certain sub-system of the economy and form a closed system. The multinationals depend on transfer of knowledge from their corporate headquarters in the west. They are highly dependent on state support for access to the country. In the post-independence period, the government has tried to break this non-indigenous monopoly, but fears about gaining influence of competing indigenous groups for power prevented it from pursuing it seriously.’’

The informal sector consists of compromises of small and medium sized indigenous and family owned businesses. Essaymonster (2016) cites: ‘’They hardly have access to protection and the state often sees them as a threat to the formal sector and harasses them. The informal sector is not organized in large networks and investments are done largely from private savings. There are more than 800,000 small, medium and micro-enterprises in the country, absorbing about a quarter of the labour force of 30 million people. This is in addition to about 3,5 million people involved in some or other type of survivalist enterprise activities.’’ 


Kenya's economy is market-based with a few state-owned infrastructure enterprises and maintains a liberalised external trade system. The country is generally perceived as Eastern and central Africa's hub for Financial, Communication and Transportation services.

Kenya’s government is generally investment friendly and has enacted several regulatory reforms to simplify both foreign and local investment, including the creation of an export processing zone. The export processing zone is expected to grow rapidly through input of foreign direct investment. An increasingly significant portion of Kenya's foreign inflows are remittances by non-resident Kenyans who work in the US, Middle East, Europe and Asia. (Wikipedia, 2013)


In 2003, the government of Kenya instituted a free primary education for all program, and then did the same for secondary education in 2008. As a result, the number of students enrolled for education has increased substantially.

Education in Kenya is both public as well as private organised. Also, there are harambe schools which are run by local communities and tend to be less selective than public schools. Non-formal education centres provide basic education for children who are unable to access formal education, especially in impoverished urban and rural areas. There are 17 private universities and 14 public and private university constituent colleges. Also, in the non-university sector, students attend public and private institutions. (Clark, N., 2015)


Research is mainly organised by Kenyan universities in collaboration with the government and/or foreign universities and research institutions. The Kenyan government also has been of influence in establishing several research institutions due to the approval of several laws. These research institutions are divided under the different Ministries. (Kenet, 2016) 


Kenya’s infrastructure looks relatively good compared to other low-income countries in Africa. However, they remain far below the levels found in Africa’s middle-income countries. Infrastructure contributed half a percentage point to Kenya’s annual per capita GDP growth over the last decade. This percentage could rise up to 3% when Kenya’s infrastructure would meet the standards of the region’s middle-income countries.  

Kenya has made significant progress in infrastructure over the past few years. Thanks to innovation in the ICT sector, around 90 percent of the population lives within range of a GSM cell phone signal. Also, a successful partnership in air transport has helped to make the Kenya’s airline one of the top three carriers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport one of the key international gateways into the continent.

Looking ahead, the country’s greatest infrastructure challenge lies in the power sector, where there is a serious shortage power. Another challenge is the bottleneck posed by Mombasa’s port. Low levels of access to household services is also a major concern. (The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2010) 


Clark, N. (2015). Education in Kenya. Retrieved on October 12, 2016, from  

Essaymonster. (2016). Business systems in Kenya. Retrieved on October 12, 2016, from

Kenet. (2016). Research Institutions. Retrieved on October 12, 2016, from

M.P. Hekkert, R.A.A. Suurs, S.O. Negro, S. Kuhlmann, R.E.H.M. Smits, Functions of innovation systems: A new approach for analysing technological change. Technological Forecasting & Social Change 74 (2007), 413–432

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2010). Kenya’s Infrastructure:

A Continental Perspective. Retrieved on October 12, 2016, from

Wikipedia. (2013). Economy of Kenya. Retrieved on October 12, 2016, from