The Government of Canada and the African Development Bank have signed an agreement formalizing the Canada–African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF), a transformative special fund aimed at providing concessional loans to climate change-related projects with a strong gender-responsive component.
The fund will be capitalized through a combination of a CAD 122.9 million ($104.8 million) repayable contribution, aimed at providing concessional loans for both sovereign and non-sovereign operations plus a CAD 10 million grant contribution for complementary technical assistance. The African Development Bank will administer the fund.
Speaking at a virtual signing ceremony to conclude the agreement, held 17 March on the sidelines of the Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium, Canada’s Minister of International Development, the Hon. Karina Gould, said the investment, with its strong gender footprint, recognized “the critical role that women need to play in climate action, and supports their efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.”
“Climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time…And, although we are all affected by it, we in Canada know that not everyone is affected equally…that means that vulnerable and marginalized people are bearing the brunt of this crisis.”
As a concessional facility, CACF resources will be deployed in innovative low-carbon technologies, renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, water management, and climate-resilience projects. The fund will finance climate change related projects in the African Development Bank’s regional member countries, including those that demonstrate a strong gender equality focus. The empowerment of women and girls will be an objective across all concessional financing of the CACF, aiming at direct, measurable gender equality outcomes.
“In building back Africa, climate resilience is very important… This is why I’m delighted and thrilled with the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund that we are launching today,” African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said in remarks after the announcement.
He thanked Canada for its “tremendous” support to the Bank in terms of general capital increases, temporary callable capital, and the support that Canada has given to Africa through the Bank.
“These resources that you are making available, it’s very unique, in helping us with adaptation. First, it is long-term financing. It will provide long-term capital to the private sector and to the public sector. It also provides it at affordable levels for countries…What I like most about it is that it looks at multi-sectoral use of this financing…all these things are very important to support Africa in climate adaptation and mitigation,” Adesina said. “Canada has always been there for Africa…Canada is a great friend of Africa.”
The African Development Bank’s financing for climate has increased fourfold from 9% of its total portfolio in 2016, to 36% by 2019, and is on track to achieve its target of 40% of total portfolio by the end of 2021. The Bank has committed to providing $25 billion in climate financing by 2025.
The Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium, co-hosted by Canada, Ethiopia and Senegal, brings together economic and business leaders from the public and private sectors from Canada and sub-Saharan Africa to explore innovative ways to grow their economies, while reducing emissions and building resilience to climate change.
The sessions focused on a blueprint for a green economy, incorporating socioeconomic development, while ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, minimizing waste and pollution, and following climate-resilient and low-carbon development pathways.
The symposium also included a trade policy discussion on environmental considerations in international trade and the promotion of rules-based trade.
Canada, one of the African Development Bank Group’s key non-regional members, has participated in all the Group’s capital increases. This includes its 7th General Capital Increase, the replenishments of the African Development Fund, including the 15th replenishment of the Fund (ADF-15), with a 7.5% increase in African Development Bank Units of Account (UA) terms. It has also contributed to numerous trust funds and initiatives managed by the Bank Group.
Tanzania: African Development Fund Approves $116 Million Loan to Upgrade Southern Road Corridor
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund on Wednesday approved a loan of around $116 million to the Tanzanian government to upgrade a 160-km Mnivata-Newala-Masasi road corridor in the southern part of the country.
The Bank’s loan represents 98.71% of the project cost; the government of Tanzania will provide the remaining 1.29% in funding.
The project will upgrade the roadway, including the 84-meter Mwiti bridge, to bituminous standard. The works also have social components, including the provision of potable water, education and medical infrastructure, the establishment of cashew nut processing units, and extension of entrepreneurial training to women and youth.
The upgrade is expected to open up rural areas in the region and enhance the Mtwara Development Corridor, which links Mtwara Port and Mbamba Bay port on Lake Nyasa. Exporters, importers, small-scale cross-border traders, farmers, transporters are all expected to benefit.
“The periodic isolation of such a significant population worsens vulnerability and undermines social inclusion. Improved road connectivity would therefore build the resilience of the people and widen livelihood opportunities within the Mtwara Development Corridor and the surrounding districts,” Bank Director General for East Africa Nnenna Nwabufo said.
Overall, the five-year project will improve mobility and accessibility for about 1.1 million people in Mtwara, Tandahimba, Newala and Masasi districts and facilitate integration with neighbouring Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
Currently, the districts of Tandahimba and Newala, with an estimated combined population of 509,000 people, are mostly cut off, while connection with the Mtwara port area for essential supplies is severely constrained during rainy seasons due to the state of the road.
The project will advance Tanzania’s current five-year Development Plan (2021-2026) and aligns with the Bank Group’s Country Strategy Paper (2021-2025) which emphasizes sustainable infrastructure for a competitive economy and an improved private sector business environment for job creation, as well as two High-5 strategic priorities: Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
At 30 June 2021, the Bank Group’s active portfolio in Tanzania comprised 22 operations (19 public and 3 private) with a total commitment of about $2.4 billion.
FirstBank Expands Its International Money Transfer Network, Reinforces its Commitment to Customer Service
In furtherance of the need to expand diaspora remittance inflow into the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has increased its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), targeted at easing the accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner. With over 750 branches across the country, customers can receive money from the nearest FirstBank branch closest to them.
Over the years, FirstBank has been in partnership with Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs which include Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflow into the country, thereby putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends and loved ones across the world.
Beneficiaries can receive remittance in US dollars in any of our over 750 branches spread across the country. Customers without an existing domiciliary account can have dollar account automatically created for their remittances. You can also receive inflow directly into your account through Western Union.
In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal.
Reiterating the Bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Gbenga Shobo said “at FirstBank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses and debt servicing.
We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are, across the world.”
FirstBank pioneered international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago and has been at the forefront of promoting cross border payments in the country, having started the journey with Western Union Money Transfer. The Bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market.
Private Sector Seeks FG’s Directive on VAT Payment
The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) on Sunday in Lagos called on the Federal Government to urgently make a pronouncement on the ongoing controversy over VAT payment so that businesses will know what to do.
OPSN chairman, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, made the call at a news conference and said delays in addressing the issue could cause negative effects on businesses, most especially in the collection and remittances of VAT.
“We are aware that by Sept. 21 we get penalised if we do not pay or remit the VAT for the month of August.
“We are also aware that laws are not made in retrospect. It then means that even if those laws have been enacted, particularly the Lagos State law which came into effect in September, it will not affect the payment by businesses in the state.
“Due to our remittances, we have issues with the fact that the law for Rivers was made in August and the majority of the businesses in Lagos usually will have a relationship with the Rivers State Inland Revenue too.
“The confusion in the public space is the reason we are calling on the government to come to our aid as we want to pay.
“It is for the government at the center to make a pronouncement as to what becomes of us,’’ he said.
Adeniyi, who is also the President of, Nigeria’s Employers Consultative Association (NECA), said that the ongoing challenge had the potential to make businesses pay double VAT in view of demands by the FIRS and state governments.
He said that businesses, as the collecting agents, were practically unclear on the authority to remit to and without a clear path, this would further aggravate the pain on businesses.
“It is a popular saying that where two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
“It is no longer news that Nigerian businesses have been battling with myriads of challenges, making the survival of enterprises and ease of doing business in the country among the worst in this part of the world,’’ he said.
There has been controversy over the collection of VAT after a Federal High Court ruled that it was not the duty of the Federal Government to collect the tax.
VAT is normally collected by the Federal Government since the military era and the money is shared by the three tiers of government.
Following the court ruling, however, Lagos and Rivers states passed laws that allowed them to collect VAT.
FIRS, which used to collect the VAT on behalf of the Federal Government, has challenged the court ruling at the appellate court.
OPSN comprises the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NECA, Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industries and the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
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