infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP) marked a major milestone on September 26 with the launch of its first Climate Innovation Center (CICs) in Nairobi, Kenya. This is the first of seven CICs to support climate technology innovation in developing countries, with the other centers slated for India, South Africa, Vietnam, Morocco, Ethiopia, and the Caribbean. The CTP works to accelerate locally owned, locally developed climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve climate resiliency, and bring economic development through high-growth sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, clean water, and energy efficiency. In addition to establishing national CICs, the CTP is also developing the global infrastructure to support and connect their operations.
The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (CIC) will offer financing and other services to local climate innovators and entrepreneurs to boost locally sourced green technologies in the Africa region. With a budget of $15 million over five years, it is expected to support up to 70 sustainable climate technology ventures in the first five years, and is set out to generate 4,600 direct and 24,000 jobs in total within ten years.
The launch in Kenya was witnessed by representatives of the Kenya government, private sector leaders, and development agencies.
Kenneth Ndua, founder of start-up Fawandu, is one of the entrepreneurs connected to the CIC Kenya. His innovation is a domestically produced, high-efficiency stove that simultaneously cooks and sanitizes 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 will help with the commercialization and rollout of our products at the national level,” he says.
The CIC is made possible by contributions from the government of Denmark and Britain’s UKAid. It was developed in close consultation with Kenyan partners to ensure local relevance and long-term sustainability. The CIC is hosted by the Strathmore Business School, in collaboration with Global Village Energy Partnership International (GVEP), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).
“The Climate Innovation Center will contribute to Kenya’s transformation to a middle income country in line with the Government’s Vision 2030 strategy,” says Alex Alusa, Advisor on Climate Issues in the Office of Kenya’s Prime Minister. “It will enable small and medium enterprises in Kenya and the region to achieve the essential technological advancement and catalyze innovative technology.”
The center will help Kenya achieve its economic, environmental and social development goals, 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.
For other personal perspectives on the entrepreneurs the CIC will support, we recommend this post in the World Bank’s Private Sector Development blog.