Status of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Kenya

Citation:
Aduda BO. "Status of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Kenya.". In: International Workshop on Nanotechnology: Present Status and Future Prospects in Developing Countries. Kashan, Iran; 2009.

Date Presented:

18 – 20 May

Abstract:

Nanoscience and nanotechnology deal with the study, manipulation, and the design of materials and devices at the atomic scale. Whereas nanoscience focuses on the new properties, nanotechnology focuses on new devices. The nanoscale science and technology is multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary. We thus see that nanoscience and nanotechnology bridge the gap between molecular scale and the macroscale. It is now recognized that science founded on the unified concepts on matter at the nanoscale is the new basis for knowledge creation, innovation, and technology integration.
Given the current and anticipated impacts of nanotechnology in work efficiency, ways of life and the environment, national (e.g. Kenya’s) efforts should be focused on how nanotechnology can improve efficiency in manufacturing, energy resources and utilization, reduce environmental impacts of industry and transportation, enhance healthcare, produce better pharmaceuticals, improve agriculture and food production, and expand the capabilities of information technologies. This requires synergistic relationships amongst all the stakeholders right from the beginning of the research and development processes.
A study of the Kenya’s situation reveals minimal understanding of what nanoscience and nanotechnology, and what their potential benefits are. The teaching of and research in these areas and the accompanying infrastructure are weak and disjointed. Moreover, there are almost nonexistent/weak specific regulatory tools and policies governing this important but emerging technology and discipline. Gaps presently exist in our scientific knowledge, and coupled with inadvertent outcomes witnessed in other technological advances there are reasons enough for nanotechnology industries and relevant government agencies to invest in understanding possible risks and neutralize them prior to putting the products into the market.

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