Green Economy Activities of AHK Kenya

28.02.18 Activities Energy Desk, Activities, AHK Kenia - News-Hauptkategorie

Spearheading the Engagement of the Kenyan Private Sector in Greener Economic Practices

AHK Kenya sets the agenda for strengthening Kenyan-German knowledge transfer in environment friendly technologies. Since 2015, AHK Kenya is the first point of contact for both Kenyan and German/ European companies, which offer solutions for decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation. Key topics include water and wastewater, sustainable energy generation and utilization, “green” entrepreneurship as well as circular economy.

In 2016, Michael Derus, Deputy Head of the German Embassy in Nairobi, together with AHK Kenya, has initiated the “German Embassy Green Economy Cycle (GEGEC)” to encourage Kenyan leaders and decision makers to shift towards ecologically and economically sustainable business practices. The series of activities showcases how businesses can reduce environmental impact, as well as sharpen their competitive edge and build new business cases. GEGEC provides German expertise for a Kenyan context, with a focus on interaction, discourse and collaboration. The tenth GEGEC event, its topic being “Financing of Environmental Technology”, was held end of January 2018 in Nairobi. Over two years and a total of ten workshops, conferences and trainings, more than 1,000 participants have been sensitized and discussed the prospects of environment friendly and yet prospering business cases. With a special perspective on gender inclusion, AHK Kenya has set the ratio of women amongst participants and facilitators at two fifth.

Focusing on the topic of waste management within GEGEC was a particular success: Takataka Solutions Ltd., founded and managed by the German entrepreneur Daniel Paffenholz, is the only company offering integrated circular economy services in East Africa. Through GEGEC, Takataka shared its knowledge in waste management and built networks with companies searching for environment friendly solutions for their waste. These networks created new customers, directly resulting into 20 new formal jobs at Takataka, the majority of them being women. 50 additional tons of waste, which formerly went to dumpsites, are now being recycled – per month. This amount is equivalent to the reduction of 84,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year or an area of 134 soccer fields of conserved woodland. Impressed by the impact, other institutions, including the German Embassy in Nairobi, commit to take environmental responsibility by following Kenya’s biggest company, mobile communications provider Safaricom as well as hotels like Kempinski and others on this path. Encouraged by this success, AHK Kenya set up a stakeholder coordination roundtable on waste management in 2017, the first of its kind in Kenya. This multi-stakeholder partnership of international and Kenyan institutions and donors will have its next meeting in March 2018.

Waste management, nevertheless, is only one of the topics covered by AHK Kenya’s multiple activities for fostering more sustainable economic practices, others focusing on sustainable water supply, waste water management and sustainable energy supply.

To support renewable energy, AHK Kenya tackles lacking technical experience as well as the access to finance as the main hurdles for this sector. Complementing rural electrification efforts, an in-depth technical training on mini-grid technology was held in January. German equipment manufacturers SMA, Hoppecke and Heckert trained contractors, who had been awarded the construction of mini-grids by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). Furthermore, in order to highlight innovative finance solutions for renewable energies in Kenya, AHK Kenya collaborated with Allianz Climate Solutions to elaborate and discuss finance mechanisms for encouraging the uptake of industrial and commercial scale renewable energy in Kenya, end of January 2018.

In the framework of building partnerships in the water sector, AHK Kenya is involved in a wide array of activities with a focus on knowledge exchange between Germany and Kenya. At two Kenyan-German Water Weeks in 2016 and 2017, water practitioners from German companies engaged their Kenyan counterparts in best practices from Germany and discussed ways of adapting these to the Kenyan context. Since the beginning of 2018 a banner exhibition show-casing “Water technology and Know-how Made in Germany applied in Kenya”, is available for display and for borrowing by partners from AHK Kenya.