Triangular Regional Bamboo Development Cooperation Workshop Underway

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Addis Ababa ENA September 3/2019 A workshop that aims at enhancing bamboo sector development in three East African countries, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, is underway here in Addis Ababa.

At the two-day regional bamboo policy and strategy workshop that opened today will be presented policies, strategies and best practices that are currently in place in the three countries.

The workshop helps to enhance knowledge and awareness of national policy makers, government officials, experts and entrepreneurs on bamboo development, it was learned.

South-South Knowledge Transfer Strategies Project Manager at International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, Durai Jayaraman said promoting mutual understanding and enhancing cooperation between the east African countries and addressing challenges and barriers for bamboo sector development are expected outcomes.

Ethiopia has the largest bamboo resource of the three countries, accounting for 88 percent, followed by Kenya and Uganda 8 and 4 percent, respectively, he stated.

The triangular cooperation among Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda contributes to green economic growth and international trade and investment between East Africa, Europe and China, the project manager added.

Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Deputy Commissioner, Kebede Yimam said Ethiopia has over 1.4 million hectares of land covered with bamboo.

If fully utilized, the sector will boost green economy development, foreign direct investment and job creation for the growing population of the country, he added.

According to Kebede, the triangular cooperation and sharing of experiences will lay down strong foundation for bamboo sector development.

Kenyan Forestry Research Institute Science Leader, Paul Ongugo  said on his part bamboo is the “big four” agenda for Kenya. “It is the agenda of addressing manufacturing expansion, affordable housing and health facilities as well as food and nutrition security issues,” he pointed out.

Ongugo stressed the importance of south-south cooperation in general and cooperation among the east African countries to alleviate the barriers for bamboo sector development.

Some 50 participants from government, research agencies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders from the three bamboo growing East African countries are taking part in the workshop organized by International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR).

INBAR is implementing a programme titled “Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme” supported by the Dutch and the Chinese government in collaboration with the national ministries and agencies.