Namibia and France commit to SUNREF agreement

07 Jun 2017 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 07 JUN (NAMPA) – Namibia and France on Wednesday signed the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Financing (SUNREF) programme agreement in the capital.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said the agreement would see Namibia make progress in clean-energy transition, sustainable agriculture and tourism.
He noted that while the SUNREF Namibia programme presents the financial resources needed for the country to fulfil its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, it also provides a financial incentive for Namibia to aim for a sustainable natural environment as underpinned in the recently launched Fifth National Development Programme.
“We are committed towards enhancing resilience towards the impact of climate change by promoting environmentally sound investments and production systems in all land-based economies,” Shifeta said.
Regional Director for French Development Agency (AFD) in Southern Africa, Martha Stein-Sochas said the programme objectives are to contribute to the mitigation, adaptation and resilience of Namibia to the effects of climate change by supporting small and medium energy projects; support the development of Namibia’s banking sector to better understand and develop green projects; and encourage the job market to organise new business opportunities that will arise from the economic transition.
The programme will be supported and hosted by the Environment Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia.
“It (EIF) will assist the banks internally to better structure themselves and understand what green projects really are,” she stressed.
Credit lines worth Euros 45 million (about N.dollars 648 million) will be financed by the AFD to First National Bank, and Euros 15 million each (about N.dollars 216 million) to Bank Windhoek and NedBank to facilitate small and medium projects.
Another Euro 1 million (about N.dollars 14 million) in the form of a grant will form part of the responsibility of the EIF.
“This funding comes in handy at a time when we need to improve resilience adoption mechanism in our industry,” said Benedict Libanda, EIF chief executive officer.
According to Libanda, the EIF’s financial investment flow calculations show that the agricultural sector alone needs about N.dollars 18 billion to be profitable under the climate change scenario for the next 16 years.