Experts converge in Kenya to endorse green job creation

Africa Must Urgently Achieve Stability, Increase Growth, and Create Jobs

Experts on Friday met in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to seek ways of boosting the creation of green jobs in the country.

The inaugural National Green Jobs and Skills Development Workshop organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as Jacob’s Ladder Africa, a youth-focused non-governmental organization, brought together more than 1,000 participants to explore ways to enhance the formation of green jobs.

In his opening remarks, Stephen Jackson, UN resident coordinator in Kenya, said the country has a large endowment of renewable energy resources such as solar wind, geothermal, and hydropower that can fuel the transition to a green economy.

“We are very focused on how to come together as a UN system to support Kenyans get jobs in areas where there is environmentally friendly, sustainable consumption and production,” Jackson said.

He noted that the country’s agriculture sector, which is one of the largest employers, has the biggest potential to become a source of green jobs through initiatives such as climate-smart agriculture and agro-ecology.

Rose Mwebaza, director and regional representative for Africa at the UNEP, said Kenya’s high unemployment rate could be tackled by supporting entrepreneurs to engage in green sectors of the economy, such as recycling waste.

Mwebaza added that green employment opportunities are also available in green transportation sectors, such as mass transit systems that utilize electric vehicles.

Shadrack Mwadime, principal secretary for the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, said Kenya is also reforming its labor laws to create a conducive environment for the creation of green jobs.

Beatrice Inyangala, principal secretary for the Ministry of Education, said Kenya is also focusing on greening the education curriculum to ensure that it caters to the dynamic needs of a low-carbon development pathway.

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