First-ever mapping of Kenya’s digital-cleantech ecosystem

January 30, 2024

Cleantech Estonia (CE) and Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) have published the first-ever assessment of the Kenyan digital-cleantech ecosystem. The study aims to give a better understanding of the ecosystem by examining its history, current status, and enablers, as well as the opportunities and challenges to Kenya’s cleantech development.

The assessment is a part of "Estonia-Kenya Twin Transition Ecosystem Building”, a collaboration project between Cleantech Estonia and Kenya Climate Innovation Center. With the support of ESTDEV, the two cleantech support organizations have partnered up for an initiative centred on technologies driving twin transition, namely, clean technologies that incorporate data and digital solutions. The objective of this collaboration is to chart the landscape of Kenya’s digital clean technology sector and develop a synergistic communication network that connects the Kenyan ecosystem with that of Estonia.

The findings indicate that Kenya’s digital-cleantech sector, though nascent, ranks among Africa’s leading startup ecosystems, such as Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa. The country is also a notable player in climate action, especially in renewable energy sectors like wind and solar. Public awareness of digital clean technologies is notably high among youth and urban residents. Key sectors to watch out for going into the future include agri-tech and solar technologies, renewable energy, and waste management.

Despite its potential, challenges like high costs, practicality concerns, user interface issues, skills requirements, scepticism towards new technologies, and technological risks hinder wider adoption. Strategic focus areas include enhancing informational outreach, skills development, innovation incentives, knowledge exchange, inclusive data sharing, and market competitiveness, all aimed at scaling up digital clean technology adoption.

To read more, download the report HERE.

About Cleantech Estonia

Since 2016, Cleantech Estonia has pioneered cleantech sector development in the Baltics. Adapting to the needs of a maturing sector, CE has gradually broadened its scope of activities to support cleantech innovation development, deployment, investment, and regulatory framework adaptation. CE unites sector leaders while building the strongest and most collaborative cleantech ecosystem. The organization amplifies the voice of the sector by providing policymakers with insights into cleantech. With the “Estonia-Kenya Twin Transition Ecosystem Building” project, Cleantech Estonia is determined to connect the Kenyan and Estonian digital-cleantech ecosystems in order to create synergies and collaboration opportunities.

About Kenya Climate Innovation Center

Since its inception in 2012, KCIC has been at the forefront of fostering innovation among Kenyan entrepreneurs and startups, specifically on the development of solutions to combat climate change, with a special focus on digitally-enabled clean technologies. KCIC provides comprehensive support through business incubation programs, capacity building, and financial assistance. Additionally, KCIC leverages its private sector expertise to advocate for government policies that facilitate climate action, aiming to create an enabling environment for sustainable ventures.