Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution Programme


The manufacturing sector in both Kenya and Uganda is strategically important for each country’s economic development, and in key urban areas employs over 350,000 and 680,000 people respectively. Catalysed by increasing local consumer demand, the food and beverage sector has emerged as a leading contributor to the manufacturing sector, accounting for 39% of manufacturing GDP in Kenya and 64% of manufacturing GDP in Uganda.  Other sub-sectors also benefitting from an improved investment landscape include textile, clothing, leather and footwear, chemicals and chemical products, pulp, paper and packaging, cement and plastics and rubber.  These sectors are frequently associated with problems of pollution releases to land and water. Continued projected growth in these manufacturing sub-sectors, without a shift to cleaner production methods, will result in significant negative outcomes for local urban populations affected by industry pollutant as well for the receiving environment.

In 2021, Open Capital Advisors was contracted to evaluate a range of pollution mitigation solutions that were likely to have a strong case for uptake by the private sector. More details are available in this Synopsis Report. One of the key criteria for selection was the ability to demonstrate a sustainable business case for the selected solution once any barriers to implementation had been overcome. These barriers could arise due to the unproven nature of the technologies in the regional context. As a result manufactures and solution providers may face difficulties when it comes to raising capital.

SMEP called for proposals for circular and innovative concepts that recycle or reuse waste for recirculation into industrial processes and/or new value chains. Market assessment studies informed this process, identifying opportunities for waste-to-energy and water treatment, which hold the potential for cost reductions in the manufacturing process, and/or new revenue streams. For more insight into the current market opportunity and barriers for these technologies, please refer to the SMEP reports listed below:

The procurement process resulted in the contracting of several pilots in Kenya only.  These are implementing solutions for:

  • biomass and organic based wastes within the food and beverages industry and agricultural value chain
  • water treatment within selected industries and within a broader initiative to address water pollution in the Nairobi River Catchment.
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