Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya and Tanzania will be among the first countries to benefit from a recently launched programme by the UN Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) that seeks to identify and support mechanisms that will enable industrial SMEs to adopt environmentally sound technologies. The programme has been planned to be replicated in other regions as well.
“Working across numerous adaptation and mitigation sectors, the CTCN provides technical assistance, knowledge sharing, capacity building and networking. We are supported by more than 550 network member institutions all over the world, half of which are from the private sector. This new programme aims to help identify challenges and specific solutions for the SMEs and support them with the uptake of climate-smart technologies”, says Dr. Rose Mwebaza, CTCN Director.
The programme consists of three stages: introducing climate technologies and international suppliers to local SMEs, creating linkages to finance, and building capacity and awareness of local industrial SMEs. The CTCN has started working closely with SMEs in partnership with local organizations. The programme in Asia is planned later this year.
In Kenya and Tanzania, the programme is lead in partnership with the Kenyan Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) which offers incubation, capacity building and financing options to SMEs. The programme kicked off at the beginning of this year with the KCIC carrying out a research and analysis of SME profiles in East Africa.
“As part of the industrial SME cluster mapping exercise, we have identified some technologies that include increasing efficiency in production processes, minimizing the use of natural resources, promoting energy conservation and efficiency, use of renewable energy sources and reducing toxic waste emissions and pollutants,” said Christine Mwangi, the Programme Lead from the KCIC.
The Kenyan Climate Innovation Centre has also engaged stakeholders in Kenya and Tanzania with the aim of validating the preliminary report findings. According to the findings, industrial sub-sectors that showed significant environmental and technological challenges based on the technological themes assessed are building, mining and construction, paper and board, textile and apparel, timber, wood and furniture and energy and electricals and automotive.
Selected SMEs from each country will attend the CTCN SMEs clinics (the format to be updated according to corona virus status), where they will be supported by experts with business plan development, access to strategic partnerships, networking or financing.