Kenya has joined hands with the rest of Africa in mainstreaming the green economy in small businesses across the country.
Speaking during the launch of Green economy strategy and Switch Africa Green Networking forum in Nairobi, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said the government has initiated a participatory process of formulating the strategy to better utilize natural resources and ensure greater socio-economic growth.
This, she added, will give a push of green growth to the economy and will strengthen the country’s plan by increasing growth across all sectors.Also,she noted that the technical capacity of counties in green economy planning has also been built through training of staff, and that Mombasa and Nakuru have been piloted.
“The challenge of attaining an economic growth rate of 10 percent and above must be addressed and in this coming dispensation, we need to ensure that our economy doubles in size in 8 years or less,” she said.
She noted that this will in turn create more employment and generate extra revenue while ensuring cleaner healthier environment.
The CS added that the Green Economy Strategy will strengthen the country’s plan of the Vision 2030, initiating a process of better utilization of the country’s natural resources.
“As we speak today, the largest fresh water aquifer and the largest wind farm in the continent are about to be harnessed in Turkana and Marsabit counties respectively,” said Prof Wakhungu.
The CS said the green economy strategy is something that must be embarked on seriously since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have awakened Africa and the world on the importance of a green economy.
“The fastest growing economies in the region are at different level of greening their growth. Let us provide leadership to the region and attain the much needed GDP growth rate of 10 percent and above through a green economy,” Wakhungu said.
The CS noted that the SWITCH Africa green Project is building the capacity of small enterprises in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, South African and Mauritius.
“Small businesses’ are able to make use of materials they previously discarded as waste through this initiative”, she said.
Danish Ambassador to Kenya Mette Knudsen emphasised the importance of strategy and the SWITCH Africa project saying it will benefit over 3 million people directly, lifting them from poverty.
Alongside SWITCH Africa Green, other initiatives such as Net Fund’s Green Innovation Awards, Operationalising Green Economy at County Level and the Green Growth Employment Creation Programme are implementing the Green Economy Strategy.