By Jackson Okoth
Kenya is slow in embracing technologies that can counter negative effects of climate change.The observation was made yesterday during an East Africa Climate Innovation Network (EACIN) conference in Nairobi.
The two-day meeting, held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, also discussed challenges faced by innovators of such technologies.
“The mechanism of upscaling these technologies to benefit communities has issues. Financial challenges also kill the excitement around the new technologies,” said Dr Rhoda Birech, a lecturer and climate change adaptation specialist, Egerton University.
She added that most innovators were not aware of intellectual property rights and lacked technical skills to market their works.
The conference, which attracted private sector players, public officials, academia and actors from local communities from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda, also discussed how to market innovations from the region globally. “This global system will match supply of new technologies with demand worldwide as well as provide financial support to those seeking to upscale their innovations,” said Christopher Paek, an officer from SS-GATE, based in China.
Kenya has already established a Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) to support the development and scaling up of locally relevant climate change technologies.
“Kenya is also in the process of integrating resilience and adaptation to climate change, to its overall national planning framework,” said Dr Edward Sambili, PS- Planning and National Development.
“The country therefore recognises the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help people adapt to climate change,” said Sambili.
EACIN was established by the African Centre for Technology Studies with support from the World Bank’s infoDev Climate Technology Programme.
The facility’s mandate is to connect private, public, academic and community actors to accelerate climate technology innovation. The Network works with CIC to support local innovators develop green technologies.