Speech By Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Egh, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of Environment, Natural Resources And Regional Development Authorities During The Opening Ceremony Of The Sub-Regional Seminar On Facilitating The Transfer Of Climate Technologies In East Africa, At Strathmore University, Strathmore Business School Auditorium On 5th April 2016

Left,; H.E.Ambassador Tatsushi Terada, Embassy of Japan, Nairobi ; Right; Professor Judi Wakhungu, CS Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities, Nairobi

H.E. Amb. Tatsushu Terada

Japan Ambassador to Kenya,

Mr. Anatole Krattiger

Director, Global Challenges Division WIPO Geneva,

Mr. Matthew Kennedy

Vice Chair CTCN Advisory Board, Copenhagen,

Mr. Edward Mungai

Chief Executive Officer Kenya Climate Innovation Center,

Representative from various African Countries present,

Captains of the Industry Present,

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is gives me great pleasure to participate in this high-level event dedicated to an issue that is of paramount importance to Kenya and Africa as a whole. That is transfer of climate change in East Africa. Let me take this opportunity to welcome our guests from the region and beyond to Kenya and wish them a happy stay in Nairobi.

The focus of this gathering on facilitating the transfer of climate technologies in East Africa is in line with the operationalization of the Kenya Vision 2030 agenda for Development. I am happy to note, the objective of the forum is to hold high level discussions around technology transfer related to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This will facilitate matchmaking between agriculture and water technology seekers from sub-Sahara Africa and technology providers, and to link climate change goals with business contribution. The seminar also comes after the successful identification of technology needs by Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center and Strathmore Center for Intellectual Property and Information technology between November 2015 and January 2016.

A total of 50 technology needs in water and agriculture were identified and uploaded on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website. Kenya submitted 34 needs and Ethiopia 16. Ladies and Gentlemen, Green technologies are key to building low carbon and climate resilient economies in developing countries.

I have been informed this event has brought together leaders who will share valuable insights with green technology seekers, technology providers, financiers and other development partners that are working to build a greener world. The COP 21 held last year in Paris concluded a historic new international climate change Agreement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Paris Agreement acknowledges the crucial role technology development and transfer for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions under this Agreement and recognizes existing technology deployment and dissemination efforts.

The Agreement call for the need for strengthened cooperative action on technology development and transfer I am happy that WIPO and CTCN have taken steps towards realizing this objective. The UN Climate Change Centre and its Networks is an important mechanism that aims to help developing countries access climate-related technologies and is crucial in linking private interests and technological capabilities in successful technology transfer projects.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to note that CTCN is part of the organizers for this event. Africa is a continent that has been characterized by poverty with almost half its population earning below US Dollar 1.25 per day. In Africa, we have a weak manufacturing base which does not allow for local value-addition. As a result, jobs that should be in the country with the natural resource are being exported to countries that do have the capacity to add value.

The increasing dependency on finite primary commodities proportionately increases the fragility of African states both economically and in terms of the environmental strain. The development and deployment of new technologies has an essential role to play in meeting Kenya, Africa and global climate change objectives, as well as contributing to new jobs and sustainable economic growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen, by harnessing science to reduce water and pesticide usage, and to pioneer greener modern farming, East Africa is leading the way in boosting agricultural productivity. Investing in pioneering agri-tech and water projects like these is a win-win for Kenya and the rest of Africa as these technologies will improve food production and create businesses and in the country.

Inventing new technologies and providing developing countries with greater access to existing technologies is essential to support action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. The process of “decarbonizing” our economy calls for Innovative technologies. Kenya is already a leading player in the area of low-carbon technologies to tackle climate change with initiatives such as the Kenya Climate Innovation Center in place.

The Center Ladies and Gentlemen, currently has over 130 innovations in renewable energy, agriculture and water under incubation some of whom are exhibiting today. A number of development partners are already contributing significantly to the transfer of technology to developing countries by financing climate action and development projects with a technology dimension, as well as through research collaboration.

Kenya as a country in recognition of the serious threats posed by climate change has taken bold measures to secure the country’s development against the risks and impacts of climate change. The Kenya constitution provides for maintenance of at least ten per cent tree cover of the land area. Additionally, Vision 2030 targets the planting of at least seven billion trees to address food, water and energy security.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Many countries in Africa are also incorporating gender in their climate-related planning. In Kenya, for example, comprehensive national strategy and guidelines for gender mainstreaming in climate change policy and programming have been developed. Overall, the adaptation capacities being developed are helping to secure food and agricultural production, strengthen development planning, and formulate the policies needed to attract climate finance.

These are important foundations for climate-resilient development. I call upon our development partners and the private sector to play an active role in facilitating technology transfer to African countries. Technology will give African countries the means to be competitive and undertake value addition to our abundant natural resources. Today’s discussion on the kind of multi-stakeholder partnerships for technology transfer is most critical.

An interactive dialogue among governments, traditional and new donor partners, including governments, international financial institutions, private companies, and civil society and academia is vital.

As a ministry we expect the discussions and dialogue during the event will result in:

– Link climate change goals with business contribution.

– Enhanced understanding of the exposure, risks and vulnerability of Africa to the impact of climate change.

– Increased awareness on energy sources, development and access as well as the roles in development and economic transformation in Africa.

– Connection to the institutions working on climate change, innovation, IP and technology transfer.

– Capacity building on technology transfer, IP management and on effective use of IP.

In Conclusion Ladies and Gentlemen, it is important to build on the momentum and progress achieved by many Africa countries. With the leadership of African governments, support of development partners, and the necessary resources, climate-resilient development is possible. Let me end by thanking the organizers, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Climate Technology Centre and Network, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), Africa Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), Strathmore University Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT), and Japan Patent Office for its financial support. I thank you for your attention and I wish you fruitful deliberations.

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