FSD Africa, a UK aid-funded specialist development agency, today celebrated a decade of strengthening financial markets across Africa, growing economies, increasing incomes for vulnerable populations, and combatting poverty.
FSD Africa has made significant strides over the past decade by advancing policy and regulatory reforms, enhancing financial infrastructure, and increasing capacity, all while tackling systemic issues in Africa’s financial markets.
These efforts have led to large-scale and long-term change, providing access to financial services to over 10.2 million people and addressing issues related to financial exclusion. During the Covid-19 pandemic, FSD Africa observed a remarkable 87% increase in the demand for and use of remittance services, which played a crucial role in protecting families from the pandemic’s financial impacts.
FSD Africa’s market-building initiatives have resulted directly or indirectly in £1.9 billion of long-term capital made available for SMEs, affordable housing, and sustainable energy projects, among others. Its support for financial sector innovation has increased access to financial services for close to 12 million Africans, while its support for business growth has improved access to finance for more than 3 million African businesses and led directly or indirectly to the creation of over 35,000 new jobs.
Speaking during the event, Mark Napier, CEO at FSD Africa said: “Celebrating over ten years of our trailblazing work across Africa is special: in a short space of time, we have strengthened and developed financial markets and tapped into capital by using new instruments such as green and gender bonds. The future is key, and I look forward to continuing our hard work with our collaborative and innovative team. I have no doubt that we will continue to support and address Africa’s expanding needs as we move towards sustainable economic development.’’
Future-focused, FSD Africa’s strategy has evolved to address Africa’s expanding needs, with a greater emphasis on identifying innovative methods to mobilize resources for sustainable economic development. The organization has recently boosted its investment into projects that enable an equitable transition to a green future for Africa after several successful initiatives, including developing regulations and assisting green bond issuance programs in Kenya and Nigeria. The organization’s green portfolio and pipeline have expanded because of continuous investments in programs that provide environmental and social consequences, with close to £50 million being invested in green initiatives.
Jane Marriott, OBE, British High Commissioner to Kenya said: ‘”The UK is continually working with Kenya to promote green finance and economic growth as part of the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership. FSD Africa is delivering on these priorities in Kenya and across the continent, creating over 35,000 jobs and leveraging more than KES 300 billion into sectors like renewable energy. I look forward to FSD Africa’s continued work in the years ahead.”
Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, Cabinet Secretary, Kenya National Treasury said: ‘’Kenya’s partnership with FSD Africa has created a favorable environment for the growth of our local capital markets, resulting in increased interest from both domestic and foreign investors. FSD Africa also played a crucial role in establishing the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC), positioning Kenya to receive more financial flows. We look forward to collaborating more closely with FSD Africa on green finance initiatives to promote sustainable development while addressing climate change challenges.’’