KEPSA, in partnership with NEMA and the UNEP, yesterday afternoon co-hosted a side event on “unlocking Africa’s green manufacturing and trade towards a low carbon development pathway” on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa Climate Summit.
Moderated by Faith Ngige, Coordinator – Climate Business Information Network – Kenya (CBIN-K) under KEPSA, the session focused on the manufacturing and trade opportunities and challenges of the transition to clean production and circular economy models, particularly emphasizing the potential for extended producer responsibility in Africa.
During the session, the Trade Principal Secretary, Hon Alfred Ombudo K’Ombudo, emphasized the connectedness between trade, manufacturing, and circularity. “We must create access to more circular goods and products and rethink our packaging design. This is also advised by the growing number of consumers increasingly making more conscious consumption choices.”
Mr Anthony Mwangi, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO, echoed his sentiments, saying, “We live in an era of the triple bottom line: humanity, planet & economics. Green manufacturing is crucial, therefore, with a growing need to maximize resources and productivity and minimize the negative environmental impacts.”
The session reiterated financial institutions’ role in unlocking Africa’s green manufacturing and trade. In her remarks, Margaret Kamau from the African Development Bank’s Climate Change and Green Growth Division said that besides offering policy and regulatory support to the public sector, the bank also focuses on enabling small businesses to access green financing through projects like Youth Adapt to help them scale.
“As a financial institution, we have a role to play, and through our initiatives, the Africa Circular Economy Alliance and the Africa Circular Economy Facility, we are committed to continue providing a platform for financing and promoting swift transitioning to a circular economy,” she added.
The session also included showcasing trailblazing businesses in the circular economy, including Mr Green Africa and Revivo.
“In Africa, we have lived and practiced circular economy principles for generations. It’s important, thus, that we revisit traditional and indigenous knowledge and practices, drawing on our past experiences to simplify the circular economy concept,” said Sonia Orwa, Country CEO of Mr Green Africa.
“Repairs are a critical component of the circular economy. Increased repairs benefit the environment and society through reduced emissions, reduced e-waste, and promoting affordable products,” concluded Sarah Johnson, the CEO of Revivo.