The Nordic Development Fund (NDF), one of African Guarantee Fund’s shareholders have marked their 30th anniversary and 10th anniversary in Climate Finance. African Guarantee Fund’s Group CEO, Felix Bikpo spoke on a panel at the anniversary event themed “How can innovative financing scale-up activities to fight climate change?”

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Bikpo stated “What African Financial Institutions and SMEs must understand is that doing business today without incorporating the green component means being out of business tomorrow.” He congratulated NDF for pioneering AGF’s Green Guarantee Facility which unlocks commercial lending to SMEs investing in green growth and climate resilient development.

Launched in 2016, the Green Guarantee Facility was an initiative of AGF & NDF seeking to explore joint development of green finance products leveraging AGF’s business model and reach with Financial Institutions across Africa as well as NDF’s climate mandate with a focus on private sector-led green growth.

To date, the green guarantee has realized enormous impact. 11% of AGF’s guarantee portfolio now contributes to climate change by unlocking more than USD 150million of financing to Green SMEs.  This climate focused guarantee has also led to access to clean energy by more than 1 million households in Africa while creating more than 20,000 jobs for SMEs.

In addition, NDF’s grant support for capacity development enabled AGF to roll out a series of high level Green Finance Conferences and Trainings  across Africa to build knowledge and capacity of financial institutions thus enabling them to scale up lending to the green economy. So far, the conference has been held in Zambia, Kenya, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The next conference & training is planned for Dakar, Senegal on 3rd – 6th  December 2019.

Citing NDF’s great contribution to African Guarantee Fund, Mr. Bikpo added “NDF has given AGF the capacity to enable African governments combat climate action. We are now showing African financial institutions how to do their businesses sustainably.”

In closing, Mr. Bikpo called on various players to merge efforts for greater impact citing a lack of coordination in Africa as one of the biggest barriers to progress more so in climate action.