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Jul 18, 2018

Leveraging on opportunities for green growth in Kenya

The 4thNational Green Growth Conference 2018 held last week at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) brought together various stakeholders from the government and private sector to deliberate on the measures being put in place to achieve a green economy and track the progress made so far. 

One of the key documents that was referred to was the Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP). Augustine Kenduiwo noted that the objectives guiding the plan are key in ensuring that the country achieves a green economy by the year 2030.

“Promoting sustainable Infrastructure, resource efficiency, building resilience, sustainable natural resource management, social inclusion and sustainable livelihoods are strategies that the plan is employing,” he said.

To facilitate implementation, the mainstreaming of the green economy in planning and budgeting processes at national and county levels is needed as stipulated in the MTPIII (2018-2022).

Discussions on accessing clean energy, transport, agriculture, manufacturing, financing and uptake of clean innovations in this sector took centre stage in the room with emphasis being placed on the role of the private sector in complementing government efforts in implementing the green agenda.

Some of the opportunities in the green growth sector outlined include transport, energy, water management, sustainable agriculture, manufacturing and financing for green growth. 

At the panel discussions on alternative financing for green growth opportunities, private sector financing for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Dr. Habil Olaka from the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) noted that they have been at the forefront in championing sustainability within the financial sector. “Since 2016, an industry wide  SFI e - learning platform has been instrumental in deepening bank staff understanding on the concept of sustainable finance,” said Dr. Olaka.

The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) has played a big role in providing alternative financing instruments such as the Proof of Concept grants where 32 enterprises have been supported to the tune of $1.1 million, The Early Stage Financing Mechanism which avails funding to early start ups either through debt or equity. So far $150,000 has been invested in three companies.

“We have invested heavily in the green tech space and will continue to scout for more viable businesses to support,” said Ernest Chitechi, Manager Corporate Services.

The event saw a myriad enterprises showcase their products and services and network with the various stakeholders. The two day event saw entrepreneurs market and sell their products to the public. 

“We managed to sell a number of bales and market our cassava flour which is gluten free,” said the founder, Elizabeth Gikebe.

There is urgent need to embrace technology for agriculture, create awareness on climate change, promote access to information and financing, improve infrastructure (green buildings), efficient waste management (solid and water), increase the adoption of clean energy and household and industry level and expand financing opportunities for SMEs in the clean tech space. Most of all, policy enhancement is required in order to actualize all the strategies in place for going green.

Developing regulations at the national and county levels will come with great benefits for achieving the GESIP.

“We shall only be certified as a green economy once all the policies in place have been adopted and implemented in the various sectors,” noted Nahashon Mwongera, Policy Analyst, Kenya Institute for Public Policy and Research and Analysis (KIPPRA).

The Chief Guest Engineer Lawrence Simitu added that the government is encouraging partnerships that forge the green growth agenda.

By Mercy Mumo

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