Kenya’s Climate Innovation Center

Climate change affects everyone, but remedies to its effects are best utilized when they are locally relevant, rather than one-size-fits-all.

Launched in September 2012, Kenya’s Climate Innovation Center (CIC) is working to provide entrepreneurs with a forum to design and develop locally minded climate and clean-energy technology. The Climate Innovation Center provides incubation services, financing, market research and capacity building services to local innovators, focusing on projects in the sectors of renewable energy, agri-business and water management.

The first of its kind in the world, the Climate Innovation Center is expected to support up to 70 ventures in the first five years. However, their good work does not come for free. The CIC is funded by the government of Denmark and UK Aid, and is hosted by the Strathmore Business School, in collaboration with the World Bank, Global Village Energy Partnership International, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute.

Some of the measurable outcomes of the CIC’s operations include the creation of jobs and companies, a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, greater climate resiliency, access to clean energy and water, better sanitation and strengthened innovative capacity.

One outstanding member of the CIC is working to increase access to energy sources for people in Kenya. PolyBiogas is an organization that creates digesters, which use a variety of biodegradable materials, such as food waste, livestock dung, waste from agricultural processing, crop materials to generate biogas. This biogas can then be used for cooking, heating, lighting and running engines. Using this alternative source of energy then helps reduce household waste, conserves trees that are being used for firewood and reduces costs to resource-limited people.

A revolutionary in its field, Kenya’s Climate Innovation Center is nurturing the creativity and ingenuity of its own people to solve the world’s challenging environmental problems. The freedom to innovate should not be reserved for the world’s elite, and the CIC is working to develop the vast potential within its own borders.

– Tara Young

Sources: Climate Innovation Center, Think Africa Press, InfoDev
Photo: Green Africa Directory