FNB will offer French funding scheme

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-FNB Namibia has entered into a partnership agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD), which will introduce the SUNREF funding scheme in Namibia.
SUNREF – Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Environmental Finance (SUNREF) – aims to promote and finance sustainable resource use in the areas of business, agriculture and tourism.

“FNB Namibia intends to provide mid and long-term facilities to clients to finance small-scale renewable energy (RE), energy efficiency (EE) and sustainable natural resources use (agriculture, tourism) investments in Namibia.

“Within the wider FNB 2020 strategy, Planet and Partnerships are key pillars, on which we believe the future sustainability of our business and our stakeholders rest.

“It made sense for us to partner with AFD to help promote, and sustainably finance natural resource efficient business practices that will positively impact our planet,” treasurer at FNB Namibia Michelle van Wyk explained.

Through this partnership, signed on 5 June 2017 in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Namibia Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, cost efficient funding options will be made available to businesses, tourism operations and agricultural enterprises that wish to implement, amongst others, cost saving and environmentally friendly technologies.

This may range from roof top solar systems or energy efficient buildings, to stand alone PV systems for energy production, water and waste management as well as biomass and de-bushing projects in agriculture.

“I am proud that we have concluded this agreement, which is a follow up of the Paris Agreement. Today is a concretisation of this joint effort.

“I am happy to see FNB being the first to sign the SUNREF agreement. I look forward to all the beautiful projects that will be developed through this SUNREF programme, which fits perfectly with the Harambee Prosperity Plan,’’ French ambassador Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni said in her remarks.

Van Wyk noted that in the tourism sector, FNB already supported the ECO-awards based on the premise of resource efficiency (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle) and offered finance options to achieve resource efficiency.

“The availability of more funds will help promote this even further. Sustainable tourism has huge untapped potential that is socially-inclusive, creates employment, preserves culture, and has financial viability,” she said.

The SUNREF scheme will assist in helping businesses decrease operating costs, increase the value of their buildings, improve the sustainability of the business and decrease its environmental footprint, thereby making the company more environmentally friendly.

“Green schemes in commercial buildings and residential buildings make business sense and FNB Namibia has been a forerunner in this area with our green accredited Head Office in Windhoek,” she pointed out.

AFD Regional Director Martha Stein-Sochas said that for her it was a great pleasure to be in Namibia to sign the agreement with FNB, which the AFD hoped would have a concrete impact on the Namibian economy.

The positive impacts included improving green energy production, limiting the negative environmental impact and supporting ‘green’ job creation.

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