MBALE – In a bid to build the capacity of financial institutions to support environment-friendly projects aimed at mitigating environmental degradation and climate change, aBi Finance has started Climate change lessons for Banks and SACCOs across the Country.
The aBi Finance Ltd in partnership with the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS) is se to train bankers on how to identify and fund green projects across the country.
ABi Finance Limited is a social enterprise dedicated to fostering agri-business expansion through capacity building of financial institutions. It aims to increase agricultural production & value addition by extending matching grants & Business Development Services (BDS) to agribusinesses, farmer organisations.
Ms Victoria Adong Abwin, a trainer from the Uganda Institute of Banking and financial services said they are telling financial institutions to think beyond money and loans and think about what sustains them in real life.
“We need to focus and look at the environment because it gives us the basics of life then we will be able to progress and if we can’t meet our basics of life then we don’t know where we are heading said Ms Adong.
Ms Adong was 26 July training personnel from Banks and Saccos at Wash and Wills Hotel in Mbale on the topic Green Finance Fund-Climate smart solutions for Agri-business said it is high time the financial sector is made aware of the global issue of climate change.
She said the target is to train the bankers to understand that whatever they do is green but also how to streamline whatever they do to lead to a sustainable life and that besides they are trying to show them that unless they join hands in creating a sustainable environment, we shall all lose out.
Ms Adong noted that Green financing is important since it takes care of doing business in a way that protects the environment, is socially inclusive, and is well governed, and that this is what leads to sustainability.
She revealed that according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative Index 2021 report, Uganda is the 12th most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, and the 49th least prepared country to combat its effects.
She said Climate Change and environmental degradation are taking place at a fast pace, threatening the well-being of Earth, and that according to scientists climate-induced events are happening at shorter intervals than ever before in history.
“The result is that they are posing a threat to our survival on the planet and this means each of us must be involved to make the earth a better place to live on that is why we are appealing to financial institutions to think about climate change before giving out loans,” added Ms Adong.
Mr Bwire Moses, ABi Finance Ltd Investments Manager-Growth and Business Development services said the training is aimed at preparing bankers to mind environmental, social, and governance aspects in their operations.
“And our main target is to build capacities of financial institutions staff to be able to handle green financing which is relatively new. There is a need for literacy creation and preparation for financial institutions to be able to deliver it to the agribusiness sector,” said Mr Bwire.
“Green financing looks at investing in projects which give profits, are socially inclusive leaving no one behind but have no negative impact on the environment. This is something which we must all embrace,” Mr Bwire added.
“We believe by training staff of financial institutions on green finance for investing in climate change adaptation, mitigation, and biodiversity conservation to attain sustainable development, we are equipping them to disseminate the same green financing information to fellow staff as well as their agribusiness loan clients across various branches country-wide,” said Mr. Bwire.
This comes at the time the recently held COP 27 Climate Summit held in Egypt discussed actions on several issues critical to tackling the climate crisis; from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience, and adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change.
Mr Bob Natifu, the Ag Commissioner for Climate Change said the Climate Change crisis has ravaged our lives and economies and that a significant percentage of our GDP is lost to this crisis due to droughts and floods.
“I want to thank ABi for involving the banking system and bankers to understand the challenges brought about by climate change and how to mitigate them by integrating it within their product offerings,” said Mr Natifu.
“If they can all embrace the green economy to reduce carbon emissions, it will go a long way in helping everyone slow down the effect of climate change,” added Mr Natifu.
He explained that the banking system as the biggest component of the financial system can do a lot to integrate green or sustainable elements within their loan facilities.
Last year, aBi Finance Limited released shs120 billion to over 30 financial institutions around the country to support environmentally friendly projects aimed at mitigating climate change.
According to Mr. Bwire, aBi-funded training are targeting financial institutions that signed up to implement the Green Financing, with a hope that others that are not part of it will also get on board through different initiatives.
The training sessions are initially targeting lower and middle-level managers including loan officers and branch managers.
aBi Finance Ltd, a leading player in promoting access to sustainable agribusiness finance in Uganda, in partnership with the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS), is conducting 20 green finance capacity-building activations (training sessions) for Staff of Partner Financial Institutions across the country.
This is meant to equip Staff of Partner Financial Institutions with the necessary knowledge on green finance which is needed to deal with the climate change challenges that are threatening agribusiness and the financial services sector.