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What the private sector must do to support green economy

By Richard Ngatia | January 5th 2020
By Richard Ngatia | January 5th 2020
KNCCI president Richard Ngatia. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The government and the private sector work on the basis of complementarity to achieve economic growth and development.

Indisputably, the private sector is the engine of growth while the governments play pivotal role in supporting economic endeavours and reducing poverty by providing suitable policy framework, strong institutions to ensure the private sector thrive and that benefits of growth are realised at the lowest basic unit at the grassroots level.

Thus, the role of the two parties is integral, mutually supportive and beneficial to realise any meaningful change. As the globe becomes more accessible with the advancement in technology and globalisation, which has brought forth greater bilateral and multilateral trade cooperation, competition has also increased exponentially as well as the much dynamic global demands.

With the much increasing growth in world population, more countries are becoming indsutrialised further exerting more pressure to dwindling scarce resources. The environmental impacts of these demands, as well as the effects on people and the economy are ever increasing at an unprecedented rate.

One of the greatest global challenges is to integrate environmental sustainability with economic growth and welfare by separating environmental degradation from economic growth and doing more with less.

Kenya, being a signatory and a key proponent and signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the commitment to ensure reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions cannot be gainsaid.

Kenya also hosts one of the largest United Nations missions with subsidiary organs globally further cementing Kenya’s role in fighting against climate change.

As an umbrella body of all business organisations and associations in the country, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) fully support embracing of the green economy to promote sustainable consumption and production as part of the global environmental conservation efforts.

Currently, the chamber is supporting the training of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on the Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP) practices.

So far, over 100 SMEs in mango, coffee and diary value chain sectors have been trained on Business Model Canvas (BMC) that enables them reflect systematically on their sustainable business growth.

Among the beneficiaries have been drawn from Machakos, Makueni, Kirinyaga, Meru, Embu, Kiambu, Kilifi, Trans Nzoia, Murang’a, Kisii, Kitui, Mombasa, Kericho, Nyeri, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Kajiado counties.

In so doing, we have already begun to integrate environmental and social risks and opportunities into the various business models.

At the African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014, Heads of State and Government adopted a remarkable set of concrete agriculture goals to be attained by 2025 through the Malabo Declaration also marking the tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Sustainable businesses

According to the 2017’s Inaugural Biennial Review Report of the African Union Commission on the Implementation of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared prosperity and Improved Livelihoods, Kenya was ranked among the top twenty member states that reported progress in implementing the Malabo declaration out of the forty-seven member countries.

According to a recent UN Environment Programme (UNEP) annual emissions gap report, Carbon Dioxide emissions in 2018, also accounting for deforestation, rose to more than 55 gigatonnes, and have risen on average by 1.5 per cent every year for the past ten years.

The 2030 Agenda will not be achieved without our commitment. It is through our commitment that sustainable businesses will be made and built in the future. Let us make the future we want a reality now.

-The writer is the president of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and chairs the Great Lakes Region (GLR) Private Sector Forum.  

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