Background & Mandate

Science and technology provide the essential means for facilitating economic, social and cultural transformations at national and global levels. Success of national development policies will often largely depend on the extent of integration of modern science and technology in their implementation

In recognition of the importance of science and technology to national development processes, Kenya’s colonial government established a number of scientific research and development facilities especially in the country’s agriculture and health sectors. These included the Scott Agricultural Laboratories in 1903, Coffee Research Services in 1908, Veterinary Research Laboratories in 1910 and Medical Research Laboratory in 1958. Similar efforts in other sectors were made during the nineteen forties and fifties.

After attaining independence in 1963, Kenya established many other Science and Technology (S&T) institutions harness science and technology in the country’s development priorities. In response to the growth in national S&T and related activities, the post-independence Government sought to have a mechanism through which scientific and technological activities could be coordinated and promoted. This led to the enactment of the Science and Technology Act, Cap 250 of the Laws of Kenya in 1977. The Act established Advisory Research Committees (ARCs) and the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) to serve as advisory institutions to the Government on matters of science and technology.

The Act mandated NCST to determine priorities in science, technology and innovation, give advice, coordinate and promote research, science and technology activities for the country’s development.