NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

Update from Lusaka: Financing SME-led Green Growth

The 2016 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank took place from 23 to 27 May, 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia
The 2016 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank took place from 23 to 27 May, 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia
From left: Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB Acting Vice President and Financial Sector Director, Felix Bikpo, AGF CEO and Pasi Hellman, NDF Managing Director
Photo: NDF
Felix Bikpo, AGF CEO, greets Timo Olkkonen, Finland's Ambassador to Zambia, during the event. They are joined by Pasi Hellman (center), NDF Managing Director and Birthe Larsen (left), Danish advisor to the Nordic and India Executive Director at AfDB
Photo: NDF
Tim Turner, AfDB Group Chief Risk Officer poses a question on how to scale up the resources and impact of AGF.
Photo: NDF
Pasi Hellman, NDF Managing Director, address participants.
Photo: NDF

May 27, 2016 - NDF joined the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) to lead a launch of the new AGF Green Guarantee Facility at a side event on Wednesday during the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

An audience of more than fifty people including senior management from the AfDB, high level representatives from Denmark, Finland, France, India, Norway and Sweden as well as financial sector partners and press were gathered for the event which took place at the Mulungushi International Conference Center in Lusaka.

The new facility is a merger of the AGF mission to strengthen access to finance for SMEs with the NDF climate finance mandate. It captures momentum from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and introduces a green guarantee product to provide partial loss guarantees on loans by local financial institutions to African SMEs investing in green growth.

The Executive Director to the AfDB for the Nordic countries and India, Ambassador Heikki Tuunanen, opened the event citing the enormous job creation potential of SMEs across the continent and opportunities for growth in renewable energy.

AGF CEO Mr. Felix Bikpo shared a snapshot of AGF achievements since its launch in 2012, including catalysing loans to more than 1000 SMEs and enabling creation of more than 11,000 jobs across 35 different countries on the continent. “There is huge potential for renewable energy and green growth in Africa,” he said. “Launching this facility at AGF is an expression of our commitment to supporting SMEs and local financing partners to capture this potential.”

In addition to Ambassador Tuunanen and Mr. Bikpo, other event speakers included AfDB Acting Vice President and Financial Sector Director, Mr. Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB Temporary Governor from Denmark, Ms. Nathalia Feinberg, and NDF Managing Director, Pasi Hellman.

Mr. Nalletamby commended AGF for “positioning itself at the forefront of the drive for green growth in Africa.” Ms. Feinberg warmly welcomed the new initiative, noting that AGF started out as an idea of the Danish Africa Commission in 2009. “Unleashing the potential of young African entrepreneurs and providing access to sustainable were among the key focus areas of the Commission,” she said, “and now AGF can address both.”

Mr. Hellman concluded the event, describing the collaboration between AGF and NDF on green guarantees as “an innovative and ground breaking follow up to the Paris climate summit, putting some of the political commitments from Paris into action.”

More information:
African Guarantee Fund Green Guarantee Facility [NDF C88]