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Kenya to host conference to explore opport-
unities in Africa’s green building sector

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Global investors, policymakers and experts will converge in Nairobi mid-March to discuss opportunities in the green buildings sector across Sub-Saharan Africa, the forum organizers said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The organizers revealed that real estate professionals, financiers and developers will brainstorm on the emerging opportunities in Africa’s nascent green buildings sector that has potential for growth.

Matthew Weihs, the founder of SPACE Event that has organized the forum said Africa could be the next frontier for investments in energy efficient buildings thanks to friendly policies and fiscal incentives like tax rebates.

“Although the green building movement is in its infancy in Sub-Saharan Africa, the past year’s development show that great work is already taking place, with more than 25 projects in the pipeline for green accreditation,” Weihs said.

He noted that institutional investors have injected massive capital in energy efficient buildings that have proved to be profitable in the long term.

According to Weihs, the misconception that investing in a green building is a costly venture has waned thanks to increased awareness on their health and ecological benefits among developers and homeowners.

“The temptation to avoid sustainability on the grounds of cost is a huge misconception,” said Weihs.

“Environmentally friendly materials and building methods are becoming increasingly accessible, and in the long term they prove not only better for the environment but also cost-effective and more profitable,” he added.

The green buildings sector in Africa has potential for growth subject to enactment of progressive regulatory and policy frameworks as well as political goodwill.

Jane Afrane, the Regional Head of Africa Regional Network at the World Green Building Council said the upcoming conference will help raise the visibility of energy efficient building sector in the continent.

“This conference is taking place at a critical point in time where the green building discourse is gaining traction in the African region,” said Afrane.

“The role of the private sector in meeting Africa’s infrastructure needs requires an enabling environment that is centered around sustainable development and awareness raising on green opportunities,” she added.



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