Speaking at a DANIDA-sponsored conference, ‘Green Growth in Kenya’, Andrew Steer, The World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, said the anticipated global network of 30 CICs may generate 240,000 jobs globally, and harness the creative spark of entrepreneurs to “transform climate challenges into market opportunities”.
Developing countries are most threatened by climate change, yet lag in their capacity to transfer, develop and deploy innovative climate technologies. The CIC, spearheaded by the Royal Danish Embassy (DANIDA) and infoDev, will cultivate Kenya’s climate technology entrepreneurs, boost industry competitiveness and job creation, and help the country to respond to the challenges of climate change.
The infoDev Climate Innovation Center will also help transform Kenya to a middle income country, in line with the Government of Kenya’s Vision 2030:
“This initiative will specifically enable Kenya to achieve the essential technological advancement and catalyze innovative technology among small and medium enterprises,” said Alex Alusa, Climate Change Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister’s office.
In the first five years, the CIC is expected to create more than 70 sustainable climate technology businesses, generating some 4,600 direct and indirect jobs. Over the next decade, it is estimated that it will help create over 24,000 jobs in Kenya.
The CIC works by providing targeted financing and capacity building to entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to scale up and deploy innovative clean technology solutions that meet local needs and create local jobs. This model was developed with over 150 Kenyan stakeholders, and builds on infoDev’s successful experience supporting SMEs in information and communications technologies.
Kenya needs ‘green growth’. The country has patchy electrification, expensive conventional energy, water shortages, and increasing pressure on agriculture caused by climate variability. On top of all this, Kenya has a 40% unemployment rate.
“The private sector has a pivotal role in the economy, contributing to 80 percent of Kenya’s GDP. The CIC will assist Kenya’s 1.7 million informal SMEs and community entrepreneurs to compete in one of the most promising sectors of the 21st century while helping to provide critical solutions to the needs of the rural poor.” said Geert Aagaard Andersen, Danish Ambassador to Kenya.
The Kenyan CIC will be the first of many. infoDev’s vision is to build a global network of 30 Centers to:
· Create over 2,400 enterprises
· Generate 240,000 direct and indirect jobs
· Install 3000 MW of off-grid energy capacity
· Provide energy access to over 28 million people
· Deliver clean water to over 10 million households, and
· Mitigate 65 million tons of CO2.
For more information on infoDev’s Climate Technology program, please visit www.infodev.org/climate