Luxembourg and Lomé, 24 February 2022 - The eco.business Fund has joined forces with its newest partner, Oragroup, to finance agribusinesses across sub-Saharan Africa holding voluntary sustainability certifications through a EUR 15 million senior loan. The investment will promote sustainable production and consumption practices amongst agribusinesses across the region to support positive impacts including biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation in line with the fund’s mission.
Oragroup is a Togo-based holding company that owns shares in Orabank, a regional banking group present across 12 countries in West and Central Africa. The company has a strong focus on inventory and export financing for tree crops, such as cocoa, cashew, mango, coffee, shea nut, and forestry assets. The financing from the fund will support certified agriprocessors and cooperatives to run and grow their operations. In doing so, the investment will also be supporting environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, stated: “We are excited about our new partnership with Oragroup, as the fund further expands its reach into sub-Saharan Africa. Together, we firmly believe we will be able to support certified companies implement climate-smart and resilient farming methods, facilitating the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the agribusiness sector in the region.”
Ferdinand NGON KEMOUM, Oragroup’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We are proud to be one of the eco.business Fund’s first partners in the region. This EUR 15 million senior loan will allow us to increase the support of our clients in the agribusiness industry that we understand can be the breeding ground of African prosperity. These investments will help strengthen the production efforts and infrastructure needs.”
Through this investment, Oragroup is expected to contribute towards the achievement of SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers. The fund’s impact management system, through its advisor Finance in Motion, underwent an independent verification by impact auditor BlueMark affirming strong Operating Principles for Impact Management alignment in 2021.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors.
The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ.
Oragroup is present in 12 countries in West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Chad, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) and in four monetary zones (WAEMU, CEMAC, Guinea Conakry and Mauritania). With 166 banking branches and 2,077 employees, Oragroup offers more than 500,000 customers (large national and international companies, SMEs and individuals) a wide range of banking products and services based on the principles of being local and responsive.
By striving for financial inclusion through the deployment of innovative solutions, Oragroup focuses on previously neglected segments of the population. This commitment is reflected in its CSR policy, which is an integral part of its strategy and a priority for its management bodies, focusing on energy transition, environmental and social risk management, and the well-being of the public and its employees.
For more information, please visit https://www.orabank.net/fr or LinkedIn, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Also explore KEAZ, Orabank Group's new digital platform.
Media contact eco.business Fund
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-171
Media contact Oragroup
Ndèye Bineta Delphine NDIAYE
Group Head of Communication
Phone: +228 92 52 08 04