UN says private sector key to achieve sustainability agenda in Kenya

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-20 19:41:03|Editor: ZX
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NAIROBI, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kenya should harness capital, technologies and manpower from the private sector to hasten attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs), a UN official said on Tuesday.

Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in Kenya said the government should partner with businesses to scale up investments that advance inclusive and green growth.

"The private sector in Kenya can tap into investment opportunities that sustainable development goals provide especially in areas like healthcare, education, affordable housing and food security," said Chatterjee.

He spoke at a forum on the role of businesses in the promotion of UN 2030 goals organized by Kenya's telecommunications firm, Safaricom ahead of launch of its annual sustainability report later in the week.

Chatterjee said that a conducive policy and regulatory environment is a prerequisite to facilitate private sector investments in sectors that promote equitable growth and environmental sustainability.

"Both large and medium-sized enterprises can channel investments in maternal health, clean water, shelter and climate resilient farming. Such investments will have positive economic and social impacts," said Chatterjee.

He said that universal health coverage that is part of Kenya's four development blue prints present myriad investment opportunities to the private sector.

"We require businesses to invest in technologies and innovations that seek to expand coverage to both preventive and curative healthcare in rural areas," said Chatterjee.

He urged businesses to be at the forefront of climate response in Kenya through investments in green energy solutions like solar and wind.

Sanda Ojiambo, head of corporate responsibility at Safaricom said that Kenyan listed companies have embraced sustainable practices given their financial and reputational benefits.

"We are convinced that long-term sustainability of our business is dependent on adoption of practices that promote environmental health, gender parity, diversity and innovations," said Ojiambo.