The Switch Africa Green project held its annual Learning Forum on 28th September 2018 at Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi. The main objective of the forum was to take stock of achievements, exchange knowledge and strengthen beneficiaries’ (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) capacities to implement sustainable consumption and consumption (SCP) practices on a wider scale.
During the meeting beneficiaries shared achievements of the project which include improved record keeping which has enabled them to track their finances, follow up on clients; energy and water efficiency, waste management, Eco innovation where new products have been developed from waste as well as green jobs created.
In terms of interventions that were most beneficial, MSMEs identified SCP training and mentorship, networking forums and peer to peer learning as aspects that should be up scaled in the phase of the project. It was also noted that some MSMEs are actively engaging the County Governments and through these platforms they have secured machinery for their operations, through affirmative action some have been able to secure supplies contracts.
Challenges identified included limited access to appropriate finance, high taxes and levies, stringent product certification process by Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), competition from cheap imports, expensive packaging arising from plastic ban and negative effects of climatic change.
Going forward it was noted that MSMEs will require support to identify the most promising business opportunities, estimate resources required to exploit these opportunities; select activities to implement and develop enforceable standards to maximise quality and safety.
During the meeting Green Trophy Awards were presented to three best performing MSMEs in adoption of SCP Practices under the Project.
The meeting was attended by KEPSA, KAAA, UNDP representatives as well as MSMEs that are project beneficiaries.