Financial institutions in Ghana and across the African sub-continent have been urged to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the green economy.
The call was made at a Green Finance conference organized by the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), International Trade Centre (ITC) and Nordic Development Fund (NDF) on November 21 in Accra.
The conference was aimed at highlighting the positive financial and environmental benefits to be gained in the Green Economy,” said David Ekabouma, AGF's Head of Business Development.
The conference follows 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 (SMEs) in Africa.
Speaking at the forum, Managing Director of Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Pasi Hellman, explained that the green investment opportunities in Africa were “real and growing,” urging financial institutions to take advantage of the situation.
“We are behind this event 100%. This green finance partnership with AGF and ITC sends a strong signal to the financial sector that the green investment opportunity in Africa is real and growing,” said Hellman.
He added, “We will continue to support this work, leveraging NDF's mix of financing instruments for maximum impact toward the growth of a vibrant green economy in the region.”
The African Guarantee Fund is a pan-African non-bank financial institution established by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
It was later joined by the French Development Agency (AFD) and Nordic Development Fund (NDF).
AGF's primary mandate is to assist financial institutions in Africa to scale up their SME financing through the provision of partial loan guarantees and capacity development assistance.
In 2016, AGF launched a green guarantee facility aimed at unlocking finance for SMEs investing in low carbon, green growth and climate resilient development.
Nordic Development Fund established by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 1989 is a joint Nordic finance institution focusing exclusively on climate change and development in low income countries.
It supports public and private sector led climate finance operations across Africa, Asia and Latin America and became an AGF shareholder in 2016 with the launch of the green guarantee facility.
International Trade Centre ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the framework of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.