Enabling private sector adaptation in developing countries and their semi-arid regions: case studies of Senegal and Kenya

Climate change poses increasing risks to economic growth and development efforts across the world. Semi-arid regions (SARs) are one of the hotpots that have been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as being particularly exposed and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Indeed, the majority of SARs across the world suffer from the combination of high levels of poverty, lack of development and high climate risk. Many of these issues will be further exacerbated by climate change. In addition, climate change will have significant impacts on economic activity within SARs, as the profits, competitiveness and operations of businesses become affected and production systems are altered to deal with the changing conditions. This paper address the gap in the adaptation literature by investigating the key factors required to provide an enabling environment for private sector adaptation, with a particular focus on SMEs in the SARs of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While little is known about how to provide an enabling environment for private sector adaptation, there is a more extensive literature on providing an enabling environment for private sector development in general. Yet, to date this literature has remained largely disconnected with the private sector adaptation literature.