“Partnerships can incentivise banks to finance SMEs”

“Partnerships can incentivise banks to finance SMEs”

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) have stated that strategic partnership remains vital and can incentivise banks to provide climate finance to SMEs in Nigeria as well as Africa.

The two bodies stated this during the 9th edition of the Green Finance Conference themed: “The Role of Africa’s Private Sector in The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which held in Lagos recently.

The conference, which brought together government representatives, senior executives of financial institutions, key regulatory-policy stakeholders, and Green SMEs to discuss green synergies, saw discussions and presentations from stakeholders who spoke on how green SMEs can contribute to the Nigerian economy with a focus on AGF’s Green Guarantee Facility and capacity development support for financial institutions.

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Speaking at the opening ceremony, AGF Group Chief Executive Officer, Jules Ngankam, emphasized that the Green Finance Conference is a crucial response to the challenges posed by climate change within a framework of National Determined Contributions (NDC) with a focus on providing enhanced expertise to Africa while proposing practical solutions to addressing financing for smaller and medium-sized enterprises committed to green growth and climate-resilient development.

“Our aim is to support the banks to improve, increase or develop their green portfolios.  Through the combination of our Green Guarantee and Capacity Development support, we are able to bridge the knowledge gap between both financial institutions and their customers.

This is not only for the SMEs to understand how the lending process works, but also for the financial experts to learn how they can provide solutions tailored to suit the needs of the SMEs,” Jules said.

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Backed by NDF’s support, AGF has been able to support financial institutions through its risk-sharing mechanism, which is crucial to incentivizing banks to provide climate finance to SMEs.

NDF Managing Director, Satu Santala said, “We are committed to financing green and inclusive low-carbon and climate resilient growth of African economies to improve the livelihood of communities. Partnerships are at the core of NDF’s approach to climate finance and the African private sector plays a pivotal role in climate action and creating employment.”

Also speaking, the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Dr. Kenneth Opara, in his welcome address, noted the important role the private sector plays in climate change in the Paris Agreement, emphasizing that the private sector plays a pivotal role in unlocking new growth, job creation and sustainable agriculture.

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Dr. Opara said, ‘’We hope that climate change efforts will unlock new opportunities for green growth and job creation, ranging from renewable energy and clean technology to sustainable agriculture. There are countless avenues for the private sector to get the required private solution that delivers environmental, social, and economic benefits”.


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