FMO backs solar projects in Burkina Faso; Triodos, Oikocredit ink debt deals

 FMO backs solar projects in Burkina Faso; Triodos, Oikocredit ink debt deals

Dutch development finance institution FMO will finance the construction and operation of four solar plants in Burkina Faso, leading a bunch of development financiers in backing the projects.

FMO’s financing will consist of four loans, between €14 million and €34 million per plant, with a total amount of €90 million. Its co-financiers include The Interact Climate Change Facility (ICCF) with €21 million and Proparco with €15 million.

The ICCF financing is a syndication among Agence Française de Dévelopment-AFD, Belgium’s BIO, Germany’s DEG, Finnfund, Norfund, Austria’s OeEB, Proparco, Switzerland’s SIFEM and Swedfund.

The solar plants will be located near the cities of Nagréongo (near Ouagadougou), Kodeni (near Bobo-Dioulasso), Tenkodogo and Dédougou, and together will generate 110 MWp.

Three of the four projects have been signed, while the signing of the fourth project is underway.

The solar plants are being financed under public-private partnership between the government of Burkina Faso and the developers of these projects. The developers are Africa REN, GreenYellow and Qair, through MIHIA Holding (Make It Happen In Africa), a 51:49 investment vehicle between Qair and Stoa.

Africa REN is a 60:40 joint venture between African PE firm Metier and FMO.

The additional solar power plants, once operational, will increase the generation capacity in Burkina Faso to 456 MW, of which 172MW will be renewable energy generation.


Impact investment platforms Symbiotics and Oikocredit have extended a loan of $30.8 million to Agri Commodities & Finance FZ-LLC, the main trading company of the UAE-based Export Trading Group (ETG).

ETG is a key player in the agriculture commodities market. It supplies agriculture products across five continents. The loan will support growth in ETG’s cocoa and cashew operations in West Africa for the next three years.

This financing will facilitate the sourcing of certified cocoa beans and traceable cashew nuts from smallholder farmers and cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, and strengthen ETG’s sustainability programmes in these countries.

Retail Capital

Triodos Investment Management has provided $10 million debt funding to Retail Capital, the first and largest merchant cash advance provider in the South African SME market.

The debt facility was provided by Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund.

Retail Capital was established ten years ago. It has disbursed over ZAR4.5 billion ($300 million) to more than 38,000 small business owners since inception. It is on target to disburse ZAR8 billion ($534 million) to small businesses by 2023.

“In South Africa, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) make up almost 90% of businesses, provide approximately 60% of local employment and contribute more than 34% of GDP,” said Triodos investment officer Stanley Anyetei. “However, access to funding remains one of the highest impediments to SME growth.”

Retail Capital bases advance repayments on the monthly turnover of SME clients and a set repayment percentage. It charges a fixed fee over the duration of the advance.

Vivek Sinha

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