FSD Africa, a specialist development agency funded by the UK government, celebrated a decade of strengthening financial markets in Africa, growing economies, increasing incomes for vulnerable populations, and combating poverty.
Over the last decade, FSD Africa has made significant progress by advancing policy and regulatory reforms, improving financial infrastructure, and increasing capacity, all while addressing systemic issues in Africa’s financial markets.
These efforts have resulted in large-scale and long-term change, providing over 10.2 million people with access to financial services and addressing issues related to financial exclusion. During the Covid-19 pandemic, FSD Africa saw an 87% increase in demand for and use of remittance services, which was critical in protecting families from the pandemic’s financial consequences.
FSD Africa’s market-building initiatives have resulted in the provision of £1.9 billion in long-term capital for SMEs, affordable housing, and sustainable energy projects, among other things.
Its support for financial sector innovation has increased access to financial services for nearly 12 million Africans, while its support for business growth has improved access to finance for over 3 million African businesses and resulted in the creation of over 35,000 new jobs, either directly or indirectly.
“Celebrating over ten years of our trailblazing work across Africa is special,” said Mark Napier, CEO of FSD Africa, during the event. “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 critical, and I am excited to continue our efforts with our collaborative and innovative team. I have no doubt that we will continue to support and address Africa’s growing needs as we strive for long-term economic development.”
FSD Africa’s strategy has evolved to meet Africa’s growing needs, with a greater emphasis on identifying innovative ways to mobilize resources for long-term economic development. Following several successful initiatives, including developing regulations and assisting green bond issuance programs in Kenya and Nigeria, the organization has recently increased its investment in projects that enable an equitable transition to a green future for Africa.
The organization’s green portfolio and pipeline have grown as a result of ongoing investments in programs with environmental and social benefits, with nearly £50 million invested in green initiatives.
“The UK is constantly working with Kenya to promote green finance and economic growth as part of the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership,” said Jane Marriott, OBE, British High Commissioner to Kenya. FSD Africa is addressing these priorities in Kenya and across the continent, creating over 35,000 jobs and investing over KES 300 billion in sectors such as renewable energy. I look forward to FSD Africa’s continued efforts in the coming years.”
“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,” said Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, Cabinet Secretary, Kenya National Treasury. FSD Africa was also instrumental in the establishment of the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC), which positioned Kenya to receive more financial flows. We are excited to work more closely with FSD Africa on green finance initiatives that will promote sustainable development while addressing climate change challenges.”