Private Sector & Development magazine articles

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Decoding

Supporting the agricultural sector in fragile contexts

Claire Fillatre Proparco
Fariza Chalal Proparco
Quentin Elie Proparco
Irak
The financing needs of the agriculture sector in fragile situations are all the more significant as they are poorly covered by commercial banking services. However this finances are essential to support staple food production, contribute to the sustainability of producers’ incomes, structure local value chains and reduce dependence on imports. Nevertheless, the overlapping risks inherent to the sector and the different contexts constrain the mobilization capacities of development financial institutions.
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Analysis

The challenge of energy supply and energy bills in fragile countries: the example of Nigeria

Olivier Leruste Afrigreen
Nuru - République démocratique du Congo
Fragile countries like Nigeria have to contend with a high level of energy insecurity - a result of their many social, economic, security and health challenges. Energy supply solutions are limited for the private sector, and diesel generators are often used to replace a faulty or expensive electricity grid. Photovoltaic solar energy is a valuable alternative, however, its adoption is often delayed by regulatory uncertainty, unpredictable changes in grid prices and exchange rate fluctuations.
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Analysis

Development finance institutions: how to operate in fragile countries?

Thomas Husson Proparco
Emma Sanchis Peris Proparco
Irak
Development finance institutions (DFIs) are increasingly called to invest in fragile countries, facing a diversity of challenges linked to security, economic and environmental issues. The private sector has a highly diversified, informal and resilient presence in these regions. How can DFIs provide support in such contexts, while ensuring that their impact is a positive one?
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Column

The transformative role of the private sector in forced displacement

Michel Botzung IFC-UNHCR joint initiative
Camp de réfugiés
The world is currently facing a forced displacement crisis. Forced displacement has shifted in scale, and its increasingly protracted nature calls for development approaches that extend beyond the prevailing care and assistance approach. Yet, within development approaches, we believe in private sector-led solutions in forced displacement contexts.
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Analysis

Tackling the dual challenge of urbanisation: support from the private sector

Salim Bensmail Meridiam
Urbanisation - Kenya
All twenty-first century cities have to both meet the essential needs of their populations and adapt to the effects of climate change. In emerging countries, this dual challenge is being exacerbated by constantly increasing rates of urbanisation. To cope with this situation, we need to foster partnerships between the public and private sectors, as demonstrated by the projects supported by Meridiam.
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Analysis

Project preparation funds: an effective solution for unlocking investment in sustainable infrastructure in Africa

Samuel Lefèvre AFD Group
Kampala (Ouganda)
Financing of essential local services and sustainable infrastructure in African cities is not sufficient to meet current demand. Project preparation funds can provide both preliminary technical assistance and project support for resilient urban development programmes. In doing so, they facilitate both decision-making and financing, especially from private stakeholders.
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Decoding

Improving energy efficiency and minimising the effects of climate change in the hospitality sector

Ram Lokan Kasada Capital Management
Hôtel
Hospitality is one of the most energy-intensive sectors in real estate. In many markets in Africa, energy represents a significant burden on profitability, yet the sector has never fully embraced energy-efficient solutions, due to high costs, fear of inconveniencing guests, and a lack of demonstrated savings. Kasada is innovating to change the mindsets of property owners across the continent.
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Interview

Enabling Africa’s digital transformation with world-class technology

Chris Wood West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC)
Numérique Afrique
A partnership between Proparco and pioneering digital network and data company WIOCC is contributing to enabling Africa’s digital transformation. The initiative is creating a world-class technology environment for Africans to use to build better lives and better businesses. This includes local digital content creation, engaging users and promoting inclusive development.
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Decoding

Implementing Smart Cities in Africa: a project framework

Simina Lazar AFD Group
Smart Cities
According to the International Telecommunications Union and the UN, a smart city is, “... an innovative city that uses … ICT and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring ... economic, social, environmental as well as cultural aspects”. Back in 2019, ASToN programme sought to implement this vision. Questions arising included: how does this apply in real contexts, specifically African cities, often in the face of scarce infrastructure and urgency? The following feedback is from this flagship initiative.
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Interview

Financing and supporting the transition to clean public transporation in Colombia

Francisco Lozano Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional
Green Movil
The challenge facing Colombia in its transition to clean energy (including electric) public transportation is largely structural: transportation networks are managed independently by the cities, resulting in a lack of integration. The resultant redundancies need to be addressed, along other structural issues, such as contracting, making the clean energy transition viable and fundable.
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Analysis

Accelerating the green transformation of cities: role of the private sector

Mark Watts C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Andy Deacon The Global Covenant of Mayors For Climate & Energy
Immeubles villes durables
The UN estimates that cities are responsible for 75 percent of global CO2 emissions. If we are to have any hope of keeping to the Paris Agreement and limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees then it’s what happens in cities which is critical. While many cities across the world are already reducing their emissions quicker than their respective countries there is one major blocker standing in the way of further progress: access to finance.
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Column

Rio de Janeiro deepens engagement in global climate action

Eduardo Paes
Rio de Janeiro - Brésil
As the site of the ’Rio Declaration’ and host of the G20 Summit in 2024, Rio de Janeiro has embraced international objectives with its Plan for Sustainable Development and Climate Action. Two core initiatives in actualizing the Plan are The Neutral ISS Law and the Center for Tomorrow’s Energy and Finance, currently under construction. Both are aimed at spearheading the City’s sustainable energy transition and nurturing its green finance ecosystem.
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Decoding

Channelling private sector investment into sustainable urban planning

Christel Bourbon-Séclet C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Frédéric Audras Agence française de développement (AFD)
Villes durables
Cities are critical players in the deployment of inclusive and sustainable public policies. If they are to provide their growing populations with the economic, social and cultural services and resources they need to combat climate change, they must have access to additional funding. More specifically, this requires greater private sector involvement.
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Decoding

Financing a sustainable future: de-risking innovation through food systems investing

Tim Crosby Transformational Investing in Food Systems (TIFS)
Madagascar - Agriculture
Faced with the negative-dominant impacts of food production, opportunities in sustainable food businesses need to be aligned with the capital available for transformation. To achieve this, they must be brought within view of private sector impact-first investors. This requires calculated and thoughtful government interventions.
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Decoding

Placing contract farming in the service of development, food security and equality

Anne Valto Finnfund
Agriculture Afrique Madagascar
The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises estimates that at least one in five Africans goes to bed hungry, and an estimated 140 million people in Africa face acute food insecurity. The Horn of Africa, in particular, is again suffering from persistent drought, and countries dependent on imported wheat and sunflower oil are suffering as prices have skyrocketed because of the Ukraine war. Gender inequity – with women precluded from contributing – compounds the issues.
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Interview

Farm Credit Armenia, a finance cooperative for food security

Armen Gabrielyan Farm Credit Armenia
Sécurité alimentaire - Arménie
FCA is Armenia’s sole agricultural credit cooperative. It supports – with the aid of an AFD Group 1.5 m euro loan – its clients, the members, owners, participants, and beneficiaries of the cooperative. Its commitment is to improve the quality of life in rural Armenia, by providing accessible financial services to targeted groups, thereby fostering the country’s sustainable development and contributing towards food security.
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Decoding

To impact food security, investors must understand farmers’ resilience to climate change

Ellie Turner 60 Decibels
Agriculture Afrique
In recent years, unprecedented shocks - climate change, Covid-19 and supply chain disruptions - have changed the trajectory of progress on global food security. Acute food insecurity increased by 33 percent from 2021 to 2022. Smallholder farmers will be critical to resolving this food crisis, yet they are among the most vulnerable to climate shocks. Building climate resilience has emerged as a top priority for investors working in smallholder agriculture, but demonstrating impact on resilience has remained a challenge.
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Decoding

Proparco’s Trade Finance Programme: a concrete solution to supply challenges

Emmanuel Haye Proparco
Valentine Le Clainche Proparco
Margaux Chevrier Proparco
Port de Douala
Financing international trade through the banking system is essential to facilitating trade between countries. While this type of financing is readily available in developed economies, certain Southern countries are experiencing chronic shortages. On the African continent, for example, the supply of essential goods, especially cereals, represents a specific challenge and is particularly dependent on trade flows (intercontinental as well as internal to Africa) which need to be facilitated to safeguard the Continent’s food security. This is exactly what Proparco’s Trade Finance guarantee programme aims to do.
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Column

Food systems to nourish the fastest-growing population

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki African Union
Champs agriculture
Nourishing the world’s fastest-growing population worldwide will involve transforming its food systems to enable food supply. Expanding Africa’s food basket will serve both nutrition and resilience objectives in support of the human development needed to realize the potential of the African continent and its young population.
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