How sustainability and innovation can drive local mobility

DNInnovationWeek0908jj (1)

Ecobodaa Product engineer Timothy Chelelgo (right) explains how an electric bike operates during the Nairobi Innovate Tech Week at The Edge Convention Centre, Nairobi on August 9, 2023. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

As the world grapples with climate change and its effects on the environment, businesses are increasingly under pressure to ensure that their operations align with their sustainability objectives.

One area that matters significantly in this respect is mobility, which is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Globally, GHG emissions from transport continue to rise alarmingly. In 2017, CO2 emissions increased by 1.6 percent worldwide after three years of flat growth.

This is largely due to the rising popularity of trucks and motorcycles, which tend to be more fuel-inefficient than other motorised means.

A new report from UN Climate Change shows that while progress is being made in reducing carbon intensity, it is not fast enough to achieve the sustainable development goals or limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050.

Kenya provides a perfect example of how this global issue is playing out on the ground in many countries across the continent and needs urgent action to mitigate its effects.

Rising incomes mean people now have more purchasing power and increased access to personal motorised vehicles through importation and manufacture locally, leading to an ever-growing demand for transportation services. Mobility solutions for the 21st Century are no longer an afterthought but a necessity in Kenya.

However, the underlying infrastructure is yet to be implemented for wider adoption of e-mobility solutions that would go a long way towards driving alternative, sustainable energy options.

The inaugural Africa Climate Summit has highlighted the pressing need to realise the opportunities presented by climate change and turn them into actionable initiatives.

Investments in transportation infrastructure have historically been simply about expanding capacity -- building more roads, bridges and tunnels -- but they must now consider the environmental impact of those decisions.

The global transportation sector accounts for one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions annually, meaning this transition is critical for the future of our planet.

Kenya is a leading example of what effective urban mobility can do for African economies. Cities such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu sit at the centre of economic, employment and education opportunities for millions across the region.

A robust transportation system is crucial to delivering those goods, services and people to where they are needed most.

Innovative mobility solutions will play a big role in accelerating sustainable development with benefits including improved air quality, reduced fuel consumption and cost savings.

Kenya is primed for this transition due to its forward-looking policies and investment in new technologies. The government has set the tone for such endeavour through the Kenya Vision 2030, which aims to transform the country into a “globally competitive and prosperous nation with high quality of life by 2030”.

Yet, as we look to establish ourselves as global leaders in mobility and innovation—we must also ensure we are doing so sustainably.

Huib Van De Grijspaarde is the KIBO Africa CEO. 

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.