Business hub to nurture green technologies

September 26, 2012

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – A new business hub for Kenyan climate technology entrepreneurs has been launched in Nairobi to boost locally sourced green technologies in the East Africa region.

The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (CIC) is a cutting-edge facility developed to ensure local relevance and long-term sustainability, which will support 70 sustainable climate technology ventures in five years and generate over 24,000 jobs in 10 years.

The centre is the first of its kind in the world and it is expected to provide an integrated set of services, activities and programmes that empower Kenyan entrepreneurs to deliver innovative climate technology solutions, while offering financing and other services to a growing network of climate innovators and entrepreneurs.

The CIC is supported by the World Bank’s infoDev in partnership with the government of Denmark and Britain’s UKAid, as an innovative model to accelerate locally owned and locally developed solutions to climate change.

infoDev is a global program within the World Bank focusing on technology entrepreneurship and innovation.

As 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 CIC will be seeded by a contribution of over Sh1.27 billion ($15 million) over five years.

The Advisor on Climate Issues in the Office of the Prime Minister, Alex Alusa noted that in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate resiliency, the new centre will accelerate business in high-growth sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, clean water and energy efficiency.

“The Climate Innovation Center will contribute to Kenya’s transformation to a middle income country in line with the Government’s Vision 2030 strategy,” he said.

“It will enable small and medium enterprises in Kenya and the region achieve the essential technological advancement and catalyse innovative technology,” he added.

The CIC is hosted by the Strathmore Business School, in collaboration with Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) International, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).

The centre 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.

Kenneth Ndua, founder of start-up Fawandu, is an entrepreneur who is developing a domestically produced, high-efficiency stove that simultaneously cooks while at the same time sanitising water through boiling.

“I want to provide clean water and cooking to 24,000 households, and create 550 jobs, 400 of which will be for women. The support of the CIC would help me with the commercialization and rollout of our products at the national level,” he said.

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