By CONRAD ONYANGO
Kenya has been listed among six African countries that will get financial support to actively engage private sector in climate action.
It is the only nation in the East African Community(EAC) that made it through a global competition run by multilateral developments banks (MDBs)including African development Bank(AfDB).
The funding targets seven project concepts endorsed for full development in Africa with a focus on renewable energy, sustainable forests, and climate resilience.
The four month competition will provide funding to garner more effective private sector involvement in forests management in Burkina Faso, DRC and Ghana, climate resilience in Mozambique and renewable energy in Kenya and Mali.
AfDB is the implementing partner, and will oversee full funding of the concepts through its climate Investment funds(CIF) division.
“At AfDB, we believe that private sector engagement in climate action is critically important to stimulate markets, increase investment potential, develop climate-friendly business models, and ensure a sustainable shift for effective climate solutions.” said AfDB’s CIF coordinator, Mafalda Duarte.
Duarte who spearheaded the African project concept submissions in the competition, confirmed the competition defied time and resource limitations to identify businesses on the ground.
MDB’s said the competition was intentional to help alleviate a large number of risks that have locked private sector players in developing countries from venturing into climate-friendly projects.
Upfront risks for early entrants, large capital costs, lack of suitable financing and insurance products have been a major undoing for the players leading to slow return on investments compared to other ventures like in the fossil fuels.
“Going forward, more efforts like the CIF set-asides are needed to raise awareness about business opportunities for potential private sector sponsors in developing countries, particularly for climate adaptation,” said Duarte.
Selected project concepts under the competition will be presented for final funding to the CIF governing bodies in 2014.
the focus comes at a time when local private sector bodies are engaged in robust awareness creation programmes targeting to enlighten their members on funding opportunities.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance(KEPSA) is developing a network to expose its members to safeguards on climate funding.
Similarly a local journal published by Environment Liaison Center International (ELCI) was launched on Tuesday to regularly update their members on issues around climate change.
ELCI intends to strengthen civil society participation in global negotiations on environment and sustainable development through the book as well as a website to launch next year.