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Kenya aims to become hub for green technologies

11 December 2013, 09:52

Nairobi - Kenya's dream of becoming a regional hub for green technologies and innovations has gone over drive as the nation seeks home grown solution to climate risks.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Professor Judy Wakhungu reaffirmed the government's commitment to support innovations that promote low carbon transition.

"Kenya supports initiatives that encourage sharing of technical know-how to build resilience to costly natural disasters. We have adopted an integrated approach to advance economic, social and environmental objectives simultaneously," Wakhungu said during a Green Technologies Symposium in Nairobi.

The exhibition was hosted by Strathmore University's Kenya Climate Change Innovation Centre to showcase 30 pioneering green technologies that have made an impact across the country.

Kenya is the first country in Africa to host the World Bank funded climate innovation centre that supports development, deployment and transfer of locally relevant climate technologies.

Launched in September 2012, the center has so far supported over 70 clean technology ventures in diverse areas including renewable energy, water supply and climate smart agriculture.

Kenya's national action plan on climate change root for technologies and innovations that would enable communities adapt to severe weather patterns.

Wakhungu urged the private sector and development partners to support the development and large scale deployment of green technologies.

"Tackling the shared threat of climate change demands for a business unusual approach. The government has created a friendly policy environment to encourage investments in climate technologies and innovations," said Wakhungu.

The centre aims to help the government of Kenya to promote green growth, to protect the environment, and to create jobs.

He said the centre will help Kenya to address the challenges of climate change, by finding ways to reduce carbon emissions and to increase climate resilience, especially in energy, agriculture and water supply.

Wakhungu reiterated that green technologies will deliver a mix of economic, social and environmental benefits to the country.

"In addition to boosting climate resilience in the country, these innovations have created jobs and ensured communities have access to clean energy, safe drinking water and better sanitation, " Wakhungu said.

The Kenyan government roots for public-private partnerships to develop a vibrant market for green technologies.

Wakhungu noted that medium sized enterprises have churned out cutting edge technologies on clean energy, water purification and sustainable farming.

"The government will support local entrepreneurs develop climate smart technologies in order to achieve a sustainable and inclusive growth in the country," Wakhungu said.

Kenya has pioneered innovative solutions to climate risks through development and deployment of green technologies.

The World Bank's Country Director, Diarietou Gaye noted that Kenya has the largest number of start-ups in the region that are promoting green technologies and innovations.

"Kenyan enterprises are developing innovative climate mitigation and adaptation solutions," Gaye said.

The center will help Kenya achieve a mix of economic, environmental and social results, including: jobs created and companies launched, a reduction of CO2 emissions, greater climate resiliency, access to clean energy and water, and strengthened technology and innovation capacity.

The center is part of infoDev's Climate Technology Program (CTP) , which is establishing CICs in six other developing countries and the global infrastructure to support and link them. The Kenya CIC will be seeded by a contribution of 15 million U.S. dollars over five years.

- Xinhua


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