University of Nairobi Partners with World Bank's IFC to Promote Sustainable Construction Practices in Kenya

The University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya has embarked on a groundbreaking partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, to spearhead the adoption of sustainable and environmentally friendly construction practices in Kenya. This innovative initiative is poised to empower students, as well as budding architects, designers, and engineers, with the expertise needed to lead the way in resource-efficient building designs.

Under the licensing and cooperation agreement, the IFC will provide comprehensive training to UoN faculty members, enabling them to offer courses based on the IFC's cutting-edge "Design for Greater Efficiencies" module. This comprehensive curriculum encompasses vital aspects of sustainable construction, including bioclimatic design, water efficiency, lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.

Amena Arif, Country Manager of Kenya at the IFC, underscored the significance of this program in transforming Kenya's construction landscape. She revealed that the initiative has already been successfully implemented in seven countries across 36 universities since its launch in 2019, with Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa proudly representing its African footprint.

Dennis Odenyi Quansah, Program Lead for Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria for the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) Green Building Market Transformation Program at the IFC, emphasized the urgency of transitioning to green building practices. Presently, fewer than 1 per cent of buildings in Kenya are designed as zero-carbon projects. Green buildings, known for their reduced resource consumption and minimal waste generation, are pivotal in addressing the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and climate change.

Stephen Kiama, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, expressed his institution's unwavering commitment to implementing the IFC's green building program and EDGE application. He highlighted that this collaboration will not only empower students but also cultivate a skilled workforce capable of guiding Kenya towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

The partnership between the University of Nairobi and the IFC marks a promising stride towards promoting eco-conscious construction practices and nurturing the next generation of sustainable construction leaders in Kenya. As Kenya aspires to reach its ambitious goal of 100 per cent zero-carbon buildings, this collaboration is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the construction industry in the nation.

Article by RB Correspodent