UNIDO - UNHCR Private Sector Mission to East Africa

Uganda and Kenya, 7 – 18 October 2022

Since the first fact-finding missions with UNHCR to refugee camps in Kenya in late
2019, ITPO Germany has scouted for and supported companies and technology
solutions that are particularly relevant in the humanitarian context and fragile
environments. By providing private-sector players with an effective platform to engage
with relevant stakeholders in the sector, ITPO Germany ultimately strives to empower affected refugee and host communities through creating economic opportunities.
At the same time, ITPO Germany aims to highlight the untapped potential and role
that the private sector can play in finding innovative and more sustainable solutions
for humanitarian operations, for example, by bringing in new partners, establishing
new financing models or by adopting suitable modes of operation and procurement
practices. Building on the online meetings with UNHCR Kenya in 2020 and 2021 and the successful participation with 14 companies at DIHAD in Dubai in March 2022, ITPO Germany selected 27 companies for this mission, based on the relevance and applicability of their technologies, their investment and business models and their capacity to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development in
Kenya and Uganda, particularly in the challenging environment of Turkana County and
refugee hosting areas in Northern Uganda.

Participating companies included corporations, SMEs and social entrepreneurs with a
strong presence in the region and/or relevant solutions for the humanitarian context.
Technologies included water treatment, decentralized renewable energy, cold storage
for food and medicines, waste management and recycling and the production and use of sustainable construction materials.

B2B Networking Events in Kampala, Arua, Lodwar and Nairobi

ITPO Germany organized four B2B networking events that included presentations of
the participating companies, B2B meetings between the companies and local entrepreneurs and institutions. The events were joined by numerous
partners, consultants and institutions and, in the case of the larger events in Kampala and Nairobi, included presentations of financing partners such as the World Bank/
IFC, the UNIDO Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) and the Refugee Investment
Network (RIN). The B2B events were organized in cooperation with local partners, notably GIZ in Arua and Kampala, the AHK East Africa in Nairobi and the Turkana Chamber of Commerce in Lodwar.
The conferences, which were attended by 80 to 150 external participants each, also provided a platform for inviting and engaging representatives from other UNHCR operations, such as in Jumbe (Northern Uganda) and Dadaab and Garissa County (Eastern Kenya), thereby further increasing the reach and impact of these meetings.

Field Trips to Refugee Camps and Project Visits in Kampala and Nairobi

The group visited refugee camps in the area of Arua (Northwestern Uganda) and in Kakuma/Kalobeyei (Turkana County, Kenya). The visits had been coordinated by UNHCR and, in the case of Arua, Malteser International, in close cooperation with ITPO Germany. They included visits to projects relating to energy and water, agribusiness, health, shelter, light industry and training. The companies had the opportunity to identify gaps where the private sector can play a role, meet project owners and share their knowhow in various areas such as renewable energy, water purification and sustainable agriculture. As the group was traveling in several cars, different itineraries were developed for the individual sectors. ITPO Germany staff split up to accompany each sector delegation.

In addition to the projects located in refugee camps, the delegation also participated
in project and site visits in the two capitals. This included the opening celebration of a
solar-powered water treatment station at a hospital in the Kibera settlement in Nairobi,
installed and operated by one of the participating companies (Boreal Light GmbH), and
the visit to a shelter made of CO2-positive building materials of another participating
company (IBS Foundation) in an informal settlement in Kampala.