Ethiopia and Kenya recently held multi-stakeholder workshops to bring together and engage stakeholders in planning, implementation, evaluation and adaptive management of the bamboo sector development in both countries.
Actors of the private sector – bamboo growers, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, other enterprises – and relevant government agencies are the vanguards of bamboo sector development in Kenya and Ethiopia. These actors in each country were brought to a workshop to discuss stakeholder collaboration and capacity building in the bamboo sector development of these countries. They held constructive and reflective deliberations on sectoral synergy, integration, and collaboration while implementing sectoral strategies and action plans on the ground. Participants have also discussed the challenges of the bamboo sector, which stem from a lack of financial and technological capacity, and how collaborative engagements, policy options, and strategic implementation could be applied to solve them.
In Ethiopia, participants were briefed about the country’s ten years bamboo strategy and action plan, and they discussed how the strategy could be integrated throughout the value chain development of the sector. They also reflected on how a continued collaboration would be maintained among stakeholders. Mr. Sileshi Getahun, former State Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, in his opening remarks, appreciated the work INBAR has been rendering to support the bamboo sector development in Ethiopia and underlined the need for strengthened stakeholder engagement and collaboration for the continued growth of the sector. Participants agreed to form a national bamboo platform wherein stakeholders would regularly meet and discuss issues and opportunities of the sector so that it would be possible to harmonise efforts at a national level towards nationally identified goals. They also promised to strengthened public-private partnerships to mobilise resources and enhance collaboration, and by so doing, capitalise on opportunities and solve pressing bottlenecks of the sector.
In Kenya, the workshop attracted at least 25 participants from different subsectors who discussed the integration of bamboo sector initiatives with government projects and programmes, as bamboo has recently been identified as the 16th cash crop in the country. They discussed the establishment of a strong Public Private People Partnership to develop infrastructure and thus foster bamboo development in Kenya. They also discussed enhancing ways of technology and knowledge dissemination among players of the sector. The workshop recommended including bamboo in the ongoing policy for the REDD+ programme, and participants agreed that there is a need to promote bamboo through conducting research and development as it will strengthen Kenya’s innovation and creativity.
Ethiopia and Kenya are target countries of the INBAR’s Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme. The programme supports livelihood development, food security, and better environmental management by developing robust bamboo value chains and a sustainable bamboo industry in East Africa.