Iran ready to provide hi-tech expertise to Kenya

January 29, 2021 - 17:17

TEHRAN – Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari has expressed readiness to provide Kenya with expertise in high-tech industries.

During a three-day visit to Kenya, Sattari met with Betty Mania, Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, discussing ways to expand bilateral relations, IRNA reported on Friday.

Sattari stated that currently, 6,000 knowledge-based companies are operating in Iran, generating a revenue of about $12 billion last year, he highlighted.

Large startups have been formed in our country which are exporting knowledge-based products to other countries, he highlighted.

Sattari also emphasized that 40 knowledge-based companies are accompanying the Iranian delegation to Kenya, which can be a good opportunity for technology transfer, noting that representatives of these knowledge-based firms held talks with 130 Kenyan companies leading to bilateral cooperation.

About 50 technology parks have been formed throughout Iran, he stated, expressing readiness to share the experience with Kenya.

Referring to Iran’s special place in emerging technologies, he said that Iran ranks fourth in the world in nanoscience, with an emphasis on joint projects and cooperation in technology and knowledge transfer between the two nations.

“Despite U.S. sanctions, Iran achieved scientific growth, and with the help of the technology ecosystem and domestic scientists, we were able to become one of the top countries in the field of technology in the region,” he highlighted.

Mania, for her part, said that Iran and Kenya can cooperate in the development of agricultural products. For example, the north of Iran has good conditions for the expansion of agricultural activities.

“Kenya has good conditions in the field of tea production and we are ready to provide all necessary arrangements for the export of tea to Iran,” she stated, pointing to the diversity of fruits in Kenya as one of the areas of bilateral cooperation.

During the trip, Sattari inaugurated the Iran House of Innovation and Technology (IHIT) in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Wednesday, as the first center in Africa.

The IHIT, by supporting innovative ideas, holding technological and innovative events will be a platform for the development and promotion of Iranian knowledge-based companies, startups, and creative industries.

Technological achievements of Iran

Despite sanctions putting pressure on the country, a unique opportunity was provided for business development and the activity of knowledge-based companies in the country.

Currently, some 6,000 knowledge-based companies are active in the country, manufacturing diverse products to meet the needs of the domestic market while saving large amounts of foreign currency.

The fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in, leading to import reduction.

In recent years, the vice presidency for science and technology has been supporting knowledge-based companies active in the production of sanctioned items.

Iran also implemented a plan to return Iranian elites from the top 100 universities in the world, through the national model, the facilities are provided for their return, by creating technology parks, innovation centers, and factories.

The plan was able to bring back 2,000 Iranian students from the top 100 universities in the world over a three-year period, amounting to 600 people a year.

Sattari also told the Tehran Times in October 2020 that “U.S. sanctions caused exports of knowledge-based companies to decline three years ago, however, it has returned to growth and is projected to reach the pre-sanctions level of more than $1 billion by the end of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 20).

Fortunately, last year, companies achieved a record sale of 1.2 quadrillion rials (nearly $28.5 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials), which is expected to increase by 40 percent this year.”

To date, 42 knowledge-based companies with a total value of 2.8 quadrillion rials (nearly $66.6 billion) have been listed on the stock exchange and they will soon turn into the biggest businesses in the county, Sattari said.

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