Kenya's Pathway to Green Economy - 7th December 2017

08.12.17 Activities, Activities Energy Desk

Umbrella conference to conclude the German Embassy Green Economy Cycle (GEGEC) features 200 participants

On December 7th, 2017, 200 representatives from industry, the public sector, donors, foreign embassies and academia including members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and Germany met to discuss the achievements Kenya’s private sector has already made in advancing environmentally friendly business practices. Emphasis was given on the prospects of more sustainable business practices and how they can translate into profitable business cases. The conference took place in the framework of the German Embassy Green Economy Cycle (GEGEC) in Nairobi picking up momentum of the UN Environmental Assembly, which has been concluded the previous day at Nairobi’s UN Headquarters.

The conference was officially opened by Michael Derus, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Economic Affairs of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kenya. During three panels, key topics were discussed including Green Communication, Waste Management and the Future of Green Business in Kenya.

In his keynote address, Michael Derus said that the push to involve Kenyan private sector in protecting the environment was commendable. He noted that protecting the environment was a responsibility for all, and not just relevant government agencies.

Kenya has in the recent past stepped up measures to promote sustainable business practices. It instituted a public ban on plastic bags in August this year to promote effective waste management. In July, it also launched the Green Economic Strategy 2017, a blueprint outlining the steps Kenya will take to reduce carbon emissions and drive sustainable socio-economic transformation. This comes in addition to the private sector’s engagement for minimizing the ecological footprint that is steadily gaining momentum up to a point where private companies rely on ever more environmentally conscious business practices in order to defend their market position.

Michael Derus commended Kenya on these crucial milestones, adding that there was much that Germany and Kenya could learn from each other in environmental protection. “Kenya was one of the first countries in the world to sign the Paris Agreement in 2016, a multilateral deal aimed at mitigating climate change. Kenya is a crucial partner to Germany in environmental protection and this conference will serve to strengthen these bonds of partnership,” said Mr Derus.

GEGEC was initiated by the German Embassy Nairobi and organised by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya. GEGEC is the culmination of a series of several conferences and workshops that have been held back-to-back since 2016 with the aim of developing strategies to build a green economy in Kenya.

“The findings of the previous workshops and conferences were all discussed at GEGEC, the umbrella conference. If these findings are adopted, we are confident that Kenya’s private sector will play an expanded role in protecting the environment and promoting inclusive economic growth,” said Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, the Country Director of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya.