This is a significant milestone as it is the first ever sustainability-linked loan to a sub-Saharan African financial institution. The facility is linked to two major climate commitments including Climate Disclosures and the definition of a Climate Strategy.
The facility also includes a Climate Action Plan. Proparco, in partnership with the German consulting firm IPC, will provide long-term advisory support to Ecobank Transnational Incorporated’s teams to achieve these ambitious targets.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the Lomé based parent company of the Ecobank Group, which oversees 33 banking subsidiaries across the African continent. ETI is a key actor in the sub-Saharan Africa banking sector, with significant product offerings for SMEs and delivery of market leading financial services even in fragile economies.
Over the years, Proparco and the Ecobank Group have continuously reinforced their partnership through Proparco’s provision of numerous loans, bond subscriptions and risk-sharing facilities including for trade finance to ETI and its subsidiaries, aimed at providing access to finance for underserved segments.
As part of its ambition to increasingly integrate sustainability into its operations and financing strategy, ETI is making ambitious commitments to address sustainability challenges experienced by the organisation and common in the financial industry. ETI has therefore committed to developing:
- A Climate disclosure report to communicate on its green lending, exposure to carbon intensive sectors, and exposure to physical climate risks; and
- A Climate Strategy including sustainable finance objectives, GHG emissions reduction targets for both operational and financed emissions, first sector decarbonization strategies for the most carbon intensive sectors, and an exclusion policy covering thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plants.
This financing has been supported by numerous European DFIs, which demonstrates the confidence of ETI’s banking partners in the pan-African banking group. Proparco acted as lead arranger and lender followed by Norfund, DEG, FMO and European Financing Partners. This transaction highlights the quality of ETI’s leadership in the African banking sector and how it is paving the way for others.
This collaboration empowers Ecobank to implement sustainable objectives and generate significant impact.
Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Group, commented:
“Sustainability is integral to Ecobank’s mandate and pan-African purpose. The signature of this sustainability-linked loan agreement is another confirmation of the seriousness which the Ecobank Group accords to sustainability, which for us is both a responsibility as well as an opportunity. This sustainability-linked loan builds upon our success as the first pan-African banking Group to issue Tier 2 Sustainability Notes in 2021. We take pride in paving the way for other financial institutions on the continent. We are grateful for the collaboration with our esteemed partners, led by Proparco, including Norfund, DEG, FMO, and European Financing Partners. Together we are committed to making a positive impact and promoting sustainable financing practices across the continent”.
“Proparco is proud to support a long-standing partner in integrating the climate agenda as a cornerstone of its strategy and operations. ETI is paving the way for the entire African financial industry. This first ever Sustainability-linked loan to a banking group in sub-Saharan Africa is a flagship” said Françoise LOMBARD, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco.
”Norfund is proud to once again support ETI – one of the leading pan-African financial institutions – in its important role of providing essential financial services across the Continent” said Tellef Thorleifsson Chief Executive Officer of Norfund.
“DEG is delighted to continue this important partnership with ETI as a leading pan-African banking group. We look forward to ETI becoming an important catalyst for climate action across the continent by means of this facility that is also perfectly aligned with DEG’s Impact and Climate strategy” commented Michael FISCHER, DEG’s Director Financial Institutions Africa.
“ETI has been a client of FMO for more than a decade and is considered a long-standing partner. We are very happy to follow Proparco in this Friendship Facility, focused on the Climate Strategy of the Group, reflecting ETI’s pro-active ambition on this front. FMO’s funds will be geared towards Least Developed Countries, making a difference there where it is needed the most,’’ said Michael Jongeneel, CEO of FMO.
"No financial institution can afford to ignore the opportunities and challenges that a changing climate presents. Today, ETI and Proparco break new ground for climate action in Africa,” added Dörte Weidig, Managing Partner at IPC.
About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’)
Ecobank Group is the leading private pan-African banking group with unrivalled African expertise. Present in 35 sub-Saharan African countries, as well as France, the UK, UAE and China, its unique pan-African platform provides a single gateway for payments, cash management, trade and investment. The Group employs over 14,000 people and offers Consumer, Commercial, Corporate and Investment Banking products, services and solutions across multiple channels, including digital, to over 32 million customers. For further information, please visit www.ecobank.com.
Proparco is the private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group). It has been promoting sustainable economic, social and environmental development for over 40 years. Proparco provides funding and support to both businesses and financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Its action focuses on the key development sectors: infrastructure, mainly for renewable energies, agribusiness, financial institutions, health and education.
Its operations aim to strengthen the contribution of private players to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the international community in 2015. To this end, Proparco finances companies whose activity contributes to creating jobs and decent incomes, providing essential goods and services and combating climate change. For a World in Common.
Norfund is the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries. Our mission is to create jobs and to improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development. Norfund is owned and funded by the Norwegian Government and is the Government’s most important tool for strengthening the private sector in developing countries, and for reducing poverty.
Norfund’s committed portfolio totals 3.1 billion USD in Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia, and Central America. Norfund has four investment areas: Renewable Energy, Financial Inclusion, Scalable Enterprises and Green Infrastructure. For more information, please visit: www.norfund.no
DEUTSCHE INVESTITIONS- UND ENTWICKLUNGSGESELLSCHAFT MBH DEG – the German Development Finance Institution - was established in 1962 and joined EDFI in 1992. It is a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) and has been a subsidiary of KfW since 2001. The Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development holds the position of Chair of the Supervisory Board of DEG. In addition to its headquarters in Cologne, DEG has 18 locations worldwide. The mission of DEG is to finance and advise private enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. As an impact and climate investor DEG accompanies its customers in addressing transformation and seizing opportunities. In this way, DEG contributes to creating more skilled jobs and local income and to improving value creation on the ground in line with the SDGs.
More information: https://www.deginvest.de/index-2.html
FMO is the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a 50+ year proven track-record in empowering entrepreneurs to make local economies more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high developme. nt impact: Agribusiness, Food & Water, Energy, and Financial Institutions. With a total committed portfolio of EUR ~13 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl
IPC is a Frankfurt, Germany-based financial sector advisory firm that works for a more inclusive and sustainable world by ensuring that businesses and individuals have access to high-quality financial products and services. Its Climate Action and Green Transition practice area supports financial institutions, fund managers, and investors in advancing their climate objectives through a range of technical assistance, transaction advisory, and analytical services. IPC co-operates with Valoris Stewardship Catalysts, an American/Austrian consultancy.