AFRICA: BII accelerates climate finance through green bonds

23 06 2022 | 18:30Jean Marie Takouleu

British International Investment (BII) is underwriting $75 million in green bonds. The proceeds of the various transactions are intended to finance small-scale green projects and businesses in Africa, South, and southeast Asia.

British International Investment (BII) has signed a new impact financing for the African continent. This time, the British investor has chosen to subscribe to a $75 million basket of green bonds organized by Symbiotics, an emerging market access platform based in Geneva, Switzerland. The financing provided by the IIB is intended to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and green projects in Africa and Asia.

Symbiotics will support the installation of rooftop solar panels, sustainable agriculture, energy-efficient appliances including clean stoves, energy efficiency in buildings, electric vehicles, etc.  “The success of such a program will strengthen the green lending capabilities of MSME banks in target markets, increase capital to support small-scale green projects, and provide a replicable structure for other investors seeking to increase their allocation to climate finance in Asia and Africa,” the BII says.

To support companies and accompany green projects, the Symbiotics platform will rely on local banks specializing in MSME financing. “This investment will increase access to climate finance for small entrepreneurs and companies developing green projects. It will also strengthen the capacity of MSME banks to identify and manage climate assets. The BII’s intention is that this new and innovative financing structure will enable other investors to replicate and invest in this space,” says Jo Fry, the BII’s investment director and head of intermediated lending.

The UK investor also plans, as part of the recent transaction, to provide additional support to MSMEs by providing a further $520,000 through a technical assistance facility. This facility will be managed by Symbiotics Association for Sustainable Development (SASD) to help MSME banks develop their capacity to identify and manage green assets.