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).
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.