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EU External Investment Plan: Commission and FMO sign the first guarantee agreement to unlock financing for jobs

The European Commission and FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, have signed the first EU guarantee agreement under the European Sustainable Development Fund (EFSD), part of the EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP) for Sub-Saharan Africa and the European Neighbourhood. The historic signing took place on 18 December in Vienna at the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe.

This EU guarantee, the NASIRA Risk-Sharing Facility, is the first of its kind under the EIP. It will use €75 million of EU funds to leverage up to €750 million of investments for entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and the EU Neighbourhood. This is expected to create or to support up to 800,000 jobs and benefit those who usually struggle to access affordable loans, such as internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, women and young people.

The €75 million guarantee will be complemented by €8 million in technical assistance to support financial intermediaries and end-borrowers. Following the Commission's invitation to propose guarantees under the EIP Guarantee, partner financial institutions submitted over 40 high-quality proposals. Their combined value was over €3.5 billion. So the EU was able to choose the best ones to support. These included highly innovative approaches to attracting private investors to challenging markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and the EU Neighbourhood.
NASIRA is one of 28 guarantees which have been given the green light and the full EIP Guarantee has now been allocated. 17 financial institutions have partnered up with the EU to unlock investments.

Now it is time to implement the programmes on the ground, and NASIRA will be the first. It will boost financing for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises – one of the EIP’s five priority areas – by addressing the high risks involved in lending to under-served entrepreneurs in partner countries. It will give them access to investment loans by offering local financial institutions, such as banks and microfinance institutions, portfolio guarantees containing loans to entrepreneurs.

It focuses on people who have been forced to flee to other parts of their countries (internally displaced people) or leave their countries altogether (asylum seekers or refugees), those who had fled but have recently returned (returnees), and women and young people. Small businesses will be able to access affordable loans through local banks, microfinance institutions and other non-banking financial institutions.

This is the first agreement to access the new €1.5 billion EFSD guarantee. The guarantee is expected to leverage €17.5 billion in investment by 2020 in partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the European Neighbourhood. Guarantee agreements with other partner financial institutions are expected to be signed before the end of March 2019.

FMO is already a lead partner in several EIP blending operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, notably AgriFi, Climate Investor One and ElectriFi.
Investors, promoters and other potential partners interested in NASIRA may directly contact Mr David Kuijper at  HYPERLINK "mailto:NASIRA@fmo.nl" NASIRA@fmo.nl (link sends e-mail).

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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