Private Sector & Development magazine articles

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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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Analysis

Public policies, essential to the development of agri-food sectors

Matthieu Le Grix Agence française de développement (AFD)
SP&D - Sécurité alimentaire
In sub-Saharan Africa, the development of high-performance agri-food chains will be contingent on stronger smallholder farms. Training, advice, financing of agriculture, supply chain structuring and contractualisation: developing these critical functions must lead to the implementation of ambitious public policies. At a time when there is a new consensus around the goal of food sovereignty, strengthening agricultural policy is a priority. All players in the sector – particularly upstream and downstream businesses – will benefit from public investment focused on smallholder farms.
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Decoding

Tapping into the private sector for food system transformation

Janvier K. Litse World Food Programme
Divya Mehra World Food Programme
Varya Meruzhanyan World Food Programme
Sécurité alimentaire
To attain SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), sustainable food systems – including small-scale farming, agri-SMEs, and local food processing – will require structured development. This necessitates private engagement (bringing innovation and efficiency) and responsible private finance. To enable this, development partners and the UN need to support governments to establish a conducive environment.
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Interview

Towards food security in Yemen: HSA Group in concert with the UN, DFIs and international NGOs

Nabil Hayel Saeed Anam HSA Group - Yemen
SP&D - Sanaa
Against a background of conflict and widespread food insecurity in Yemen, the country’s HSA Group continues to work in partnership with UN agencies, DFIs and international NGOs. HSA Group’s work with Proparco demonstrates the positive effect of public-private partnerships in bringing affordable essential products and services, as well as humanitarian and social development to a crisis-stricken country.
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Interview

A network of central banks and regulators committed to climate action

Jean Boissinot Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)
The financial sector is increasingly mainstreaming climate-related risks into its analyses, in particular through the action of the NGFS, an international network of central banks and regulators. Details and analyses from Jean Boissinot, Deputy Director for Financial Stability at Banque de France and Head of the NGFS Secretariat.
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Analysis

Collaborating to accelerate investment in climate adaptation and resilience

Chiara Trabacchi British International Investment
While there is an urgent need to step up action on climate adaptation, the action is not in step with the need. This is especially true of the required financing, particularly from the private sector. To overcome the various barriers to private sector investment in climate adaptation and resilience, international DFIs in 2020 set up a Collaborative group and put forward ambitious commitments to the G7 in May 2021. Its overarching goal is to accelerate and scale up private investment in climate adaptation and resilience in developing countries.
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Decoding

How cities can focus their climate adaptation and resilience actions

Barbara Barros C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities – and all are at risk from increasing climate change impacts ( floods, storms, extreme temperatures, among others) due to warming at alarming levels. This means that communities, the built environment and economies are exposed. Lower- and middle-income countries experience worse scenarios, with amplified impacts for vulnerable groups, the poor, women, children, and the elderly, exacerbating poverty and undermining development.
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Decoding

Helping financial institutions to scale up climate change adaptation for increased resilience

Felix Stiegler GFA Consulting Group
Jonas Gödicke GFA Consulting Group
The financing of adaptation measures has not become widespread up to now due to a number of obstacles. These include – but are not limited to – insufficient harmonization of practices and terminology, less harnessing of private and public capital for climate adaptation than for climate change mitigation, and the complexity of climate risk management.
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