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Kenya: Funds Launched for Young Entrepreneurs to Mitigate Climate Change

Ambassador Geert Aagaard Andersen

The Embassy of Denmark has signed an agreement with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) which is expected to revolutionize inventions in Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) through the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF).

The contribution which a mounts to a tune of Sh 1.1 billion will be drawn from Danida, Royal Danish Embassy in Kenya towards the Business Sector Support Program, phase II and the Fast Start Climate Change Program which began late 2010 in the country.

Through this support, the Danish Government hopes to catalyse private sector innovation and business opportunities in water and other natural resources management areas to reduce the risk of climate change as well as develop energy efficiency and renewable energy options – contributing to low carbon emissions.

Some of these funds will be channelled through Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC) to empower its core business of providing comprehensive energy audits and investment grade audit in manufacturing sector.

CEEC says that if the manufacturing sector will embrace energy efficiency, industries will be able to save up to 30 percent of their primary energy input which cumulatively translates to financial savings of over Sh 2.5 billion per year.

The programme aspires to reach community level development as well as support pre-existing business models that can be moulded to address climate change, as set out in Vision 2030.

The AECF, as a US$100 million challenge fund, will provide investment support to the private sector for their new and innovative business ideas in agribusiness, rural financial services and renewable energy/adaptation to climate change that will benefit Africa’s small farmers and rural households.

The AECF is hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which is currently being supported by the governments of Australia, the Netherlands and the UK as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Fund Manager (FM) is KPMG Development Advisory Services and partners.

The Danish objectives have been welcomed as they are going to catalyse private sector investment and innovation in low cost clean energy and climate adaptation technologies. They will do this by bringing innovative climate change products and services to rural people in Kenya. It is hoped that at least 200,000 Kenyans will benefit from this program within the next five years.

Upon signing the agreement, the President of AGRA, Dr. Namanga Ngongi, said:

“I am very happy that the Government of Denmark has joined the AECF donors. I see this as a vote of confidence in both the AECF and AGRA as its hosting organization, for which we are truly grateful.”

Denmark’s Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Geert Aagaard Andersen outlined his belief in Kenya’s potential for developing a green economy:

“Denmark strongly believes that Kenya is ready to emerge as a Green Lion in Africa when it comes to promoting a green economy. Kenya’s private sector has a key role in endeavoring to stay competitive in a world market while at the same time contributing to the wellbeing of the society. The time to exploit this is now and Denmark is happy to support this shift to a green economy”

About Robert Okemwa Onsare

Robert Okemwa Onsare
Robert Onsare is pursuing Electronics Technology at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. He is a Cluster Strategy trained facilitator by Kenya's National Economic and Social Council (NESC). Mr Onsare has been an incubation student at the University of Nairobi, School of Engineering, FabLab, a venture project of the university and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a member of the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and a published poet. Mr Onsare is based in Kenya.

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