By Gift Briton

The University of Nairobi(UoN) has signed a partnership agreement worth Kshs. 140 million (€ 1.2 million) with the Global Centre on Adaption(GCA) in a bid to accelerate innovation and adaptations on climate resilience in the country.

This agreement was signed during the inauguration ceremony of Global Champion for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and GCA that was held at the University’s Taifa Hall.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, Chief executive officer, GCA said, “I am very happy to announce that AAAP is expanding its focus here in Kenya. Today, GCA is launching its strategic AAAP partnership with the UoN worth Kshs. 140 million. Through this partnership, GCA and the university will shape investments to climate proof Kenyans’ infrastructure.”

“The initiative will also unlock climate finance and create green jobs for Kenyan’s youths. I want to invite the students in here and outside not to lean backwards but forward and take advantage of this opportunity to engage in the adaption agenda for Africa. You are the future of the adaptation challenge and we look to you to develop innovative solutions for a resilient continent,” he said.

Prof Dr. Verkooijen during the event

Speaking during the ceremony, Prof. Stephen Kiama, Vice-chancellor UoN said, “This Partnership agreement will enhance our capacity as an institution to do much more on the issue of climate change.  Through this partnership, we aim to upscale robust investment in climate resilient infrastructure and support Kenyan entrepreneurs for scaling up climate adaptation businesses.”

“We are going to pick up issues of climate resilient infrastructure such that whenever you are putting up roads, bridges, houses or dams, you must think about climate change.”

According to Prof. Kiama, the university has over the years played a key role in working with the government of Kenya, international organizations and private sectors to shape and lead generational research, knowledge and solutions to address the risk of climate change. Therefore, this strategic partnership will accelerate  UoN’s ongoing effort towards climate change by creating green adaptations jobs and support Kenyan entrepreneurs scale up adaptation businesses.

To support Kenya in meeting its climate change targets, Prof. Kiama said that the university is going to have a masterclass on issues of climate change adaptation and support initiatives that lead to entrepreneurial innovations that are climate change resilient. On this regard, the institution is planning to give awards to three young individuals with the best ideas on climate change adaptations to a tune of 5 million per project.

Prof. Kiama at the event

Meanwhile, climate change crisis is already causing real suffering to many families today globally and according to world bank, climate change may push 100 million people into poverty by 2030 and another 200 million people are likely to migrate from their own country due to the same crisis, investing in adaptation to help countries to become more resilient is therefore crucial.