Green Finance Dialogue to focus on Leveraging SMEs for Uganda’s green growth

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The Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) will be hosting the second annual Green Finance Dialogue Forum. The Green Finance Dialogue Forum will bring together 100 financiers, policy makers, enterprise support organizations and green businesses to explore pathways for expanding access to finance and capacity building for green small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across sectors.
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The Uganda Vision 2040, Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (2017), and Third National Development Plan (NDPIII) 2020/21 – 2024/25 outline clear commitments to environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive growth that prioritizes green job creation, low carbon emissions, and climate resilience. To achieve these and other targets, financing needs to be mobilized – with a target of US$1.8 billion per year. Within this, the banking sector in Uganda must play a central role in leveraging available funding.
The topic of Green Finance appeared as a major theme during this year’s Ugandan Annual Bankers’ Conference; government commitments to climate action have been reinforced in the recently passed Climate Change Bill; and various first-movers – including Opportunity Bank, Equity Bank and Yako Bank as UGEFA Partner Banks – have made commitments to expanding their “green” product and service offerings.
“With the glaring negative effects of climate change affecting the entire world, protection of the environment and sustainable use of our natural resources is key to all our interventions. Equity… is cognizant to its role in sustainable financing… to accelerate and scale programs and projects aimed at protecting our planet.” – Eric Naivasha, Associate Director, Equity Group Foundation
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“The partnership with UGEFA is aligned with our purpose to make lives of people and communities better, and foster the sustainable development goals on poverty and climate action. [UGEFA] will support climate-smart businesses to thrive amidst these hard-economic times.” – John Robert Okware, Chief Relations Officer, Opportunity Bank
“As Yako bank, we are proud to be partners with UGEFA and give back to people by protecting the environment. Green financing gives more importance to environmentally friendly factors keeping our clients in a better world free from pollution and climate change dangers. Yako wishes to support the green firms in a big way.” – T V Balasubramanian, Executive Director, Yako Bank
Green SMEs are innovating products, services and processes that place environmental sustainability and social inclusion at their core – offering electric vehicles, transforming waste into energy or textiles, preserving nature for future generations, and much more. This is exemplified by the more than 120+ green SMEs that are currently being supported by UGEFA as the programme rounds out its second year. UGEFA supported enterprises note that the capacity building offered to them has had tremendous impact on their business growth.
“We didn’t know that we needed to have a business plan, financial plan, investment plan… for any enterprise to reach its growth and payback period, it must stick to the value preposition. Know its marketing channels and controling its finances.” – Aston Baker, ACOID Medical Herbs
“From the [UGEFA] programme, we have gained financial literacy. We have learned that there should be a process to review the systems for every action you need to take in your business… every asset in business should be based on your data.” – Samalie, HS Green Engineering Solutions Ltd
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Last year’s annual Green Finance Dialogue Forum set the scene for accelerating green finance for SMEs in Uganda’s transition to a green economy. Now it is time to take the lead by celebrating bankable green SMEs and co-creating pathways to ensure that all SME finance is green finance as we step into the Uganda’s green future. This can be achieved by leveraging new opportunities in Uganda’s financial sector to expand product and service offerings that meet the needs of these green businesses.
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The Green Finance Dialogue Forum 2021 will feature involvement from high-level speakers of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Bank of Uganda, Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda, East African Development Bank, KfW Development Bank, National Development Management Authority (NEMA), UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre Kampala, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA). The forum’s Green Enterprise Exhibition will join twenty leading Ugandan businesses to share their products, services and growth journeys.

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