LUSAKA, Zambia, Tuesday, December 14, 2021: As part of the Green Compact Agreement signed between the UK and Zambian Governments, Prospero Limited and Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank (ZICB) Limited have launched the Climate Finance Facility to provide concessional loans to Zambian SMEs to mitigate and build resilience of climate change.
This pool of funding will provide finance to different local business projects that build awareness around climate change and empowers citizens to make meaningful behavioural changes that are beneficial to the planet.
“I believe that the MSMEs sector has a vital role to play in bringing the urgency of climate change to the forefront. Prospero is pioneering solutions for climate change funding in Zambia. This pool of funding is monumental – it confirms that creative approaches to finance can have a huge impact in demonstrating that a sustainable future is possible, “says Prospero CEO.
“As a bank that is primarily focused on local MSME and Corporate businesses, ZICB is excited about this partnership as it allows the bank to provide support to MSMEs that are otherwise unable to source commercial finance because they are generally considered to be too risky, even though their expansion projects have tremendous positive climate impact,” says Ignatius Mwanza, ZICB CEO.
To mark the launch of the Climate Finance Facility, three (03) sample Zambian SMEs that have been approved for funding were awarded with cheques, these include:
- Wuchi Wami with approved funding of ZMW 1.8m. It’s a honey business that works with co-operatives in Mwinilunga and seeks to preserve the Miomba trees from charcoal burners and deforestation due to construction of traditional beehives.
- Solar Point with an approved funding of ZMW 1m. It’s a youth-led business specializing in solar-powered drip irrigation kits and solar refrigeration for small holder farmers operating in Chongwe area.
- Diamond Touch has approved funding of ZMW 1.6m. It’s a cashew nut processing business that seeks to embark on a reafforestation project in Mongu.
Prospero is a UK Aid funded private sector development organisation that supports business investment and innovation. We work through joint ventures with public and private Zambian entities, providing a combination of technical assistance, grant support, and linkages to access private impact investment finance.
Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank Limited (ZICB) was incorporated on the 31st of August 2017. The Bank was created with a vision to foster economic development with a focus on industrialisation and commercialisation of local business enterprises. ZICB has been positioned to grow into a major player in the Zambian banking sector. ZICB currently has 3 branches – two in Lusaka and one in Kitwe. Through its digital ecosystem, ZICB was able to support over 450,000 small-scale farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the 2020/2021 agricultural season, representing about 45% of the targeted beneficiaries under the programme.
Although ZICB is primarily focused on deploying digital infrastructure and Agency Banking, the Bank also has plans to open more physical branches in other parts of the country in the near future.