$10tr opportunities for private sector to drive SDGs

Tuesday January 28 2020

A portable solar powered water pump.

A portable solar powered water pump. About a third of the Kenya’s population currently has no access to electricity, and with the projected population growth there will be more demand for power as the economy develops. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANTHONY KITIMO
By ANTHONY KITIMO
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Kenya requires more than $40 billion in private sector investment to achieve three emerging Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next decade.

In a global study dubbed Opportunity 2030 conducted by Standard Chartered Bank last year, there is an almost $10 trillion opportunity for private-sector investors across all emerging markets to help achieve the UN’s infrastructure-focused goals between now and 2030.

The study examines the most impactful opportunities for investing in three infrastructure-focused SDGs in five high-growth markets in Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia.

The three most emerging goals according to the study are lack of access to clean water and sanitation (SDG6), affordable and clean energy (SDG7) and industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG9).

“At the moment, 56 per cent of Kenyans lack access to clean water and sanitation, while 36 per cent have no access to electricity, and the country’s digital access rate (a combination of mobile phone subscription rates and internet connectivity) stands at 34 per cent,” reads part of the report.

Uganda presents a meaningful opportunity to make an impact on SDG 7. With just 22 per cent of the population having access to electricity, there is a $6.1 billion private-sector investment opportunity to help achieve universal access by 2030.

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The SDG 7 is also important for Kenya, representing a $15.6 billion private-sector opportunity. About a third of the country’s population currently has no access to electricity, and with the projected population growth there will be more demand for power as the economy develops.

For improvement in industry, innovation and infrastructure, Opportunity 2030 highlights private-sector investment opportunities in transport and digital access.

Securing full digital adoption in Kenya, which is measured by a combination of mobile phone subscription rates and internet connectivity levels, would require private-sector investment of around $3 billion.

To significantly improve Kenya’s transport infrastructure by 2030, the report indicates a $9.1 billion investment opportunity for the private sector.

The opportunity in the water sector is smaller but still significant. Around 56 per cent of Kenya’s population still do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. To close this gap in the next 10 years will require the private sector to provide $2.3 billion of the funding.

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