AGF, NDF launch green finance conference to tackle SME funding

AGF, NDF launch green finance conference to tackle SME funding

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The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), in collaboration with the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), hosted the 9th edition of the Green Finance conference under the theme “The Role of Africa’s Private Sector in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”

The conference brought together government representatives, senior executives of financial institutions, key regulatory-policy stakeholders, and green SMEs to discuss green synergies.

The Green Finance Conference provided a platform for all stakeholders to dialogue and showcase the many advantages that Green SMEs can contribute to the economy of Nigeria, while strengthening their understanding of AGF’s Green Guarantee Facility and how it enables banks to lend to green and climate-smart projects.

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), focusing 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.

“We aim to support the banks to improve, increase, or develop their green portfolios. Through the combination of our Green Guarantee and Capacity Development support, we can bridge the knowledge gap between 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.

Backed by NDF’s support, AGF has supported 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.”

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. 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”. Special Adviser to The Lagos State Government on Climate Change and Circular Economy, Mrs. Titilayo Oshodi, speaking on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government noted the need for more awareness of the effects of climate change.


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