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KCB Lending Capacity Receives $150 Million Boost For SMEs, Climate Finance

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Kenya lender KCB has received $150 million, from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). With the funds, the Kenyan bank becomes a lead syndicator, to support the growth of the Bank’s sustainable climate finance portfolio and increase lending to micro, small and medium enterprises including women-owned businesses.

According to a statement, the bank states that the credit line will contribute to the economic growth of the Kenyan economy by helping to develop green lending and creating employment, especially for women.

KCB Group Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director Joshua Oigara adds that the financing is aligned with the bank’s green financing goals. He further explained that it will also enable the bank to expand its financing to SME and special market segments like women and youth-owned enterprises which are critical to the growth of the economy, at a time when it is facing acute financing gap.

The CEO added that the financing complements Government’s effort, through the MSME guarantee scheme, to avail funding to this important section of the economy.

“We are happy to partner with the IFC in this innovative financial instrument, which will enable us to support the economy as the country begins recovery from the impact of COVID-19. It will enable us open a path for more credit to the Small and Medium-Sized entrepreneurs,” Oigara said.

The financing is in line with our sustainability agenda to support a climate-resilient economy and reinforces the Bank’s commitment to the Principles of Responsible Banking.”

Last year, KCB Group was the only East African Bank joining another 30 founding banks globally under the auspice of UNEP- FI to develop and launch Principles for Responsible Banking that are guiding tools for global banking industry players aspiring to run sustainable businesses.

In 2015 KCB Bank incorporated Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS) into the lending process making it the ideal partner for this facility in Kenya.

With this agreement, KCB will mobilize commercial financing into the SME and climate finance sector in Kenya. It will also impart knowledge, drive innovation, and build capacity. On its part, IFC will offer training in the areas of green finance.

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East Africa Business News

Zambian High Court Cancels State Acquisition of CEC Company Power Lines

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Judge Elita Phiri-Mwikisa of a High Court in Zambia has quashed last year’s decision by the Minister of Energy, Matthew Nkhuwa, to declare a private company’s electricity transmission lines as a common carrier.

By declaring infrastructure owned by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), Zambia’s leading supplier of electricity to the mines, as “common carrier”, Nkhuwa effectively placed the company under obligation to provide its facilities to any entity that wished to use the transmission lines – provided they agreed the terms and conditions set by Zambia’s Energy Regulation Board (ERB) with CEC.

However, CEC dragged the Zambian government before the courts, arguing that Nkhuwa’s decision amounted to “expropriation” of its infrastructure.

In her ruling, Judge Phiri-Mwikisa of the Lusaka High Court said the Minister’s decision to declare CEC’s transmission and distribution lines as common carrier through the passing of S.I No.57 of 2020, took away CEC’s rights to negotiate terms and conditions of use of its infrastructure in view of the fact that any enterprise can use CEC’s infractructure at the wheeling charge that ERB has set, which CEC had argued was not cost effective.

“In fact, KCM has abrogated its contractual obligations under the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) to pay the debt owed to CEC amounting to USD 144 million. I agree with CEC that S.I No. 57 of 2020 is too wide in its application, in that it affects all the applicant’s transmission and distribution lines instead of only affecting lines supplying power to KCM,” Judge Mwikisa said.

She added, “The respondent’s decisions were illegal and tainted with procedural impropriety. All in all, I find that the applicant has succeeded on all grounds…I accordingly quash the decision of the minister of 29 May 2020, to declare the applicant’s transmission and distribution lines as a common carrier.”

Analysts had argued that the move was meant to aid Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), the local unit of Indian mining giant Vedanta, which has been under control government control since May 2019.

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Okonjo-Iweala’s First Day at Work as WTO Director-General

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As Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes her role as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the former Nigerian Finance Minister went straight into business, as she was at a meeting of the Congress of the WTO.

She makes double history as the first woman and first African to be in the role.

In her first day in office, the former former World Bank Vice President said she’s in one of the most important institutions in the world. She indicated her readiness for the huge task ahead of the organisation.

Okonjo-Iweala saw off competition from several strong contenders before becoming the chosen candidate for the top office of the WTO.

She’s an experienced economist and one of the most respected Africans in the world.

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West Africa Business News

Okonjo-Iweala Resumes as WTO DG

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Nigeria’s former minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday, started work as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“Welcome to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala @NOIweala on her first day as WTO Director-General!” the WTO tweeted today.

She immediately swung into action upon arrival at Geneva as she takes the floor at a WTO meeting for the first time as Director-General at the General Council.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who is the first woman and first African to run the WTO, has said that addressing the health and economic consequences of the pandemic would be a key priority.

There are concerns in Washington and other capitals about China’s trade policies and how well equipped the WTO is to deal with them.

Resuming at her office in the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Nigeria’s ex-Coordinating Minister of the Economy, appeared in her country’s traditional attire sewn from an African wax fabric material.

The dressing wouldn’t be complete without her signature headtie (called Gèlè in Yoruba, kwalliyar kai in Hausa and ihe mkpuchi isi in Igbo) which led to the #BeLikeNgozi headgear challenge back home in Nigeria to honour her appointment.

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