London The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) has signed a letter of intent with the French Agency for Development worth N$675 million over a three-year period. The signing took place on Tuesday in Paris, France, during the official visit by President Hage Geingob, who is expected to arrive in London today from Havana where he had travelled for the memorial service of Fidel Castro. The President jetted to Cuba from Paris on Tuesday and was one of the world leaders granted an opportunity to speak at Castro’s memorial service yesterday. During the meeting between the Namibian business delegation and their counterparts from France, President Geingob emphasised the business and investment opportunities that exist in the environmental sector. “This is the reason why Namibia was one of the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement,” a statement issued this week said. Issues of environment and climate change adaptation are a constitutional obligation in Namibia. The EIF will provide a technical facility for a green credit line by establishing the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) Program that will finance renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and tourism businesses, hosted by selected financial institutions for the lending part. A formal agreement will be signed in Windhoek in early 2017. Namibian entrepreneurs are encouraged to start identifying bankable projects with the first call for financing scheduled for March/April 2017. The innovation of the SUNREF product lies in the combination of a financial and technical approach, it was said this week. SUNREF will offer an integrated approach that aims to cover all mechanisms capable of advancing the positioning and strategy of companies towards green businesses, while creating much needed employment opportunities and eradicating poverty. The SUNREF Program will provide a range of tools and services for this, which are intended to meet the demand of all actors, namely financial incentives, technical assistance, support for the creation of a new organization in local banks and valorization of the results obtained. It is estimated that between 3 000 and 4 000 jobs will be created from this program while ensuring the maintenance of the country’s vital ecosystem services and the future of Namibia. The commitment signed in Paris will go a long way in cementing the EIF as a leader on the continent in the areas of green economy and low carbon transition.
New Era Reporter
2016-12-01 10:10:29 2 years ago