Home News Press Releases UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport, to visit Nairobi and UK-funded science and research projects

edited Sir Mark Walport with Africa office staff

(13th July 2015) The UK government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport, will be visiting Nairobi from 14-15 July, 2015,with the aim of fostering closer UK-Kenya linkages on Higher education and research, and seeing the impact of UK-funded research in Kenya.

His visit comes at a time when the Kenyan government has committed new investment for science, technology and innovation as a key to economic growth. Kenya also occupies a strong position in Africa’s research landscape, second only to South Africa, in research and productivity and shows consistent rates of growth.

Sir Mark will visit the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) offices on Tuesday 14 July. Part-funded by UK aid, GALVmed is a £70 million (approx Ksh11 billion) public-private partnership established to address the critical shortfall in livestock vaccines and medicines for animals. The visit will discuss GALVmed and partners’ market scale up of livestock vaccines and the regional engagement in Africa.

That same evening he will host a talk and reception at the British High Commissioner’s Residence titled: “Evidence-based policy making—linking government, academia and private sector”. The reception will be the first major event where the British High Commission hosts Kenyan and UK partners in research and higher education. In attendance will be Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of many of Kenya’s universities, researchers and private sector organizations with links to academia, and representatives of other research funders.

He will visit the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Wednesday 15 July. The visit will highlight the important role that UK-Africa institutional relationships can play in addressing food security issues and building capacity in African science. The UK provides funding to ILRI to develop and deploy new livestock vaccines and medicines and to increase the resilience and productivity of livestock-based farming systems.

Notes to Editors

  • Professor Sir Mark Walport was appointed Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the UK’s Government Office for Science in April 2013. Previously Mark Walport was Director of the Wellcome Trust from 2003 to 2013.
  • The Government Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for:
    • providing scientific advice to the Prime Minister and members of Cabinet
    • advising the government on aspects of policy on science and technology
    • ensuring and improving the quality and use of scientific evidence and advice in government
    • leading the science and engineering profession within the Civil Service
  • Kenya passed its Science and Technology Act in 2012, with a commitment to increase funding for research and innovation to 2% of GDP
  • According to available data, Kenya has the largest number of UKaid-funded research projects globally. As a regional centre for research, Kenya was also chosen as the location of the Department for International Development (DFID’s) second regional research hub.
  • The Hub’s programme to support research capacity development will work to support Kenya’s funding commitment on research and innovation, and create a platform for the UK and other countries to share experience on effective investments in research, linking academia and the private sector and evidence-based policy making.

For more information:

Beatrice Ouma
Communications Manager
Ph. +254 (020) 5288627 ext 304
Mob: +254 703 700 732
Email: beatrice.ouma@galvmed.org