Rwanda to pilot tool which could revolutionise green financing

On 12 November 2021 at 03:11

The Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA) and the Kigali International Finance Centre (KIFC) have entered agreement whereby Rwanda was chosen as the first country to develop and trial a pioneering new tool leveraging digital technology to assess how ‘green’ small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are – benefitting the companies and the banks who support them.

Over the coming months, the KIFC, in collaboration with the GDFA, will develop new ways to allow banks to assess the greenness of the companies they support. The pilot programme will utilise the data banks already hold on the SMEs they finance, minimising the input required from the SMEs. Following a ‘data mining’ process, the data will be converted in to ‘climate metrics’ to reveal a green rating for the company based on their emissions.

The generation of green metrics will then become automated, providing banks with green SME rating tool which will help to drive future decision making of which companies to invest in, and enabling them to move towards the objective of providing green finance as part of their core product offering.

The development of these new tools also has the potential to bring benefits to the SMEs themselves who will be able to identify quick wins to reduce their emissions (through streamlined transportation, reduced energy consumption etc.). This will enable them to cut their running costs while also contributing to the country’s efforts to meet their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) to reduce emissions.

The KIFC was chosen for the pilot program because of their commitment to driving green investment, and Rwanda’s globally recognised efforts in sustainability and environmental protection. Rwanda recently announced an ambitious plan to raise $11 billion in finance to help cut emissions, and for adaptation and mitigation projects.

“Rwanda is an ideal pilot country because it its commitment to both digitalisation and to using innovative finance to deliver on its national targets under the Paris agreement. Not to mention that Rwanda is a reginal training centre for carbon accounting. Hence, Rwanda is committed to bringing together green and digital both at strategic and practical level. That is why I am particularly pleased to GDFA and KIFC has agreed to form this partnership,” reads the statement released by GDFA following the agreement.

Nick Barigye, the Chief Executive Officer at KIFC expressed delight for the milestone.

"This tool could change the face of green investment in SMEs as banks will be able to see just how green their investments currently are and make decisions about future investments based on accurate data," he said.

“Here at the KIFC, we are committed to making ourselves a leading centre for green investment. This will benefit our businesses, the Rwandan people, and have a positive impact across the continent and beyond. This project helps us make progress towards this objective. It shows yet again that trusted partners see that Rwanda works for investors, and it will only strengthen our claim that Rwanda is the best place in the world for green investment,” added Barigye.

The bird view of Kigali, Rwanda's capital.