Kenya has today received a senior delegation from the Royal Kingdom of Denmark in a visit that happened this morning at Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) based in Strathmore University. The delegation was led by the Minister for Development Cooperation in Denmark Rasmus Prehn in his first visit to Kenya. Prehn was appointed Minister for Development Cooperation in the recently elected Frederiksen Cabinet. The minister was accompanied by the Danish Ambassador to Kenya H.E Metter Knudsen, the Permanent Secretary in charge of the environment docket in Kenya Ms. Betty Maina and other officials from the Danish Kingdom and the Government of Kenya.
Speaking during the visit, the minister acknowledged the work by KCIC in promoting the mitigation and adaptation of climate change as well as being on the forefront in supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “I am impressed with the work that KCIC is doing which is a big niche in sustainability,” Rasmus has said. “I encourage Kenya Climate Innovation Center to continue with their interventions.”
The visit was geared towards fact finding and learning from the initiatives supported by Danish International Development Agency (Danida). KCIC has incubated 236 Small and Medium Enterprises through the support of Danina and has created more than 10,000 jobs in Kenya. A number of the clients currently being supported through business support, financing and awareness creation.
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The delegation was received by KCIC led by the chairman of the board Prof. Izael Da Silva and the CEO Edward Mungai. Edward has mentioned the work done by KCIC and articulated the organisation’s agenda to continue supporting climate-smart innovations in the country. “We are working to impact thousands of livelihoods in this nation; to shape the climate change agenda and support of businesses in Kenya,” Edward said.
“The role of start-ups, small to medium enterprises in the mitigation and adaptation of climate change effects can not be underrated. These enterprises form a very major component of our economy. A recent National Economic Survey report by the Central Bank of Kenya indicated that SMEs constitute 98% of all business in Kenya, create 30% of the jobs annually as well as contribute 3% of the GDP.
“In the next couple of years, we plan to support at least 1,500 businesses, create more than 17,000 jobs with half of them going to youth and women and consequently reach more than a million customers with the products from our clients so that they can generate more than $ 50 million. We shall have helped the clients mitigate more than half a million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. In doing these, we shall assist Kenya towards the achievement of Vision 2030 which aims at transforming Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality; KCIC is an initiative within Vision 2030.”
A recent survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicated that approximately 400,000 micro, small and medium enterprises do not survive past the second year and only a few of those that survive do not make it past the fifth year. KCIC is working in supporting these businesses and in embedding climate sustainability and sustainable development into their DNA.
While acknowledging the tremendous strides by KCIC since inception, the Permanent Secretary for Environment Ms. Betty Maina said that there is still a lot to be done which the government will continue working with initiatives like KCIC to promote development. “Gone are the days when climate change was a topic on the sidelines; It is now a serious and significant agenda. Whereas we are still very far from achieving a neutral Carbon cycle, much has been achieved,” she said. “We still need to continue engaging the private sector because it is very essential in developing climate technologies.
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“The government of Kenya has taken deliberate steps in creating an enabling environment for tapping into opportunities presented by climate change through several policy instruments aimed to achieve a low carbon economy and climate resilience.
A redacted version of this article was first published on KBC Channel One by Solomon Irungu on November 13, 2019