African Development Bank initiates private sector capacity building for climate change and green growth projects
The two-day workshop, which was held 19-20 February, 2019 at Nairobi’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, brought together representatives from government and private sector to explore the investment and growth opportunities developing from the country’s climate change and green growth initiatives.
The African Development Bank, which organised the workshop, challenged private sector representatives in Kenya to take the initiative in driving the country’s economic growth and development. The Bank seeks to increase investment in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and raise awareness of how the private sector can take advantage of this investment for climate action in Kenya. It also promotes a better understanding of climate finance opportunities and of how private sector can tap into them. These underlie the key objectives of the workshop to build capacity on bankable project preparation through practical technical support.
“Private sector participation will be critical if Kenya is to bridge the huge financing gap to realise the climate change and green growth targets. This is because the private sector accounts for a greater proportion of transactions with implications for climate change in Kenya,” reiterated Nnenna Nwabufo, the Bank’s Deputy Director-General for East Africa.
Representatives are also calling for more sustainable production to ease pressure on the country’s natural resources. The Central Bank Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, who gave the keynote address, called on the country to leverage its strength in attracting funding for green projects. According to Njoroge, “Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa, and we are ahead of our peers. We have an advanced domestic debt market, which I believe is important in strengthening the green bonds market”.
Mr. Stephen King’uyu, a senior official from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, highlighted government efforts in making this initiative a success. “Broadly, the government is creating an enabling environment, which could cut across different sectors, such as energy among others”, says King’uyu.
For their part, private sector representatives called for incentives to enable them to participate more in green growth projects. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), which has so far carried out over 1000 energy audits, says incentives will spur further growth while attracting firms.
“One of the areas in which we still think there is room for growth is energy policy, to put in place feed-in-tariffs to encourage investment in this area, “ said Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga, CEO of KAM.