Kenya to fast track access to finance for SMEs seeking to grow green, economically sustainable future

Kenya to fast track access to finance for SMEs seeking to grow green, economically sustainable future

 

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) yesterday held an event titled the Green Finance Conference with key discussions zeroing in on the funding of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The talks were also centered on climate conscious investments; the risk climate change poses to a financial institution’s portfolio; and the potential for climate change regulation to spur the development of new products and services for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Kenya is recognized as a green finance leader in a Kenya to fast track access to finance for SMEs seeking to grow green, economically sustainable future (UNEP) inquiry report for July 2016. However, green finance is still struggling to take off due to factors pertaining to financial sector regulators, financial institutions and SMEs.

In a continent where green finance has been unreachable for numerous SME’s, the conversation on the opportunities in the region could not have come at a better time. Issues around the commercialization of green projects and solutions available, the role of financial institutions in promoting green finance as well as the need to create a conducive environment for the growth of Green finance and green energy are centre to the future of Africa’s sustainability.

“There is a consensus among shareholders that there is a strong correlation between the sustainability of the Africa economic growth that we are looking for and the energy consumption and, more generally, environmental issues. The insufficient supply of energy across the continent affects all aspects of development, more specifically social, economic, environmental, and even quality of life,” said Felix Bikpo, CEO African Guarantee Fund.

This Green Finance Conference builds on the 2016 launch of a green guarantee product by AGF and joint work by all three organizing institutions to expand access to finance for green growth-focused small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa.

Economic growth can only be meaningful if it is inclusive and sustainable. Economic opportunities for this generation must also deliver improved livelihoods and working conditions for the next. That’s why promoting green business models and green trade must be at the heart of all we do,” said Mr. Anders Aeroe, Director, DEI, International Trade Centre (ITC)

“The rapidly expanding green finance around the world represents a huge opportunity for the African economies. Development and climate finance institutions can assist, as they can be catalysts for green finance, both on supply and demand side,” said Mr Pasi Hellman, Managing Directo of the Nordic Development Fund.

Also present during the conference was Central Bank Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge who said: “Climate change is real and the CBK has a responsibility in this area. If we don’t do anything about it, it will be catastrophic to the financial sector.”

Dr Geoffrey Mwau, Director General for Budget Fiscal and Economic Affairs, at the National Treasury, officially opened the Green Finance Conference on behalf of Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

“Our economy, like many others around the world, is still highly dependent on natural resources and remains profoundly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The Government recognizes the critical importance of green economic growth and investment. In our effort to find new sources of long-term sustainable investment, the National Treasury established the Kenya Green Bond Programme, which haims at drawing on the significant private sector demand for investment in environmental projects,” He said

 

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