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  • Kenya Bankers Association

Impressive Investment Opportunity Available in Kenya’s Blue Economy

The Green Bond Program – Kenya (GBPK) partners in collaboration with WWF-Kenya held a joint key side event with the International Institute for Environment (IIED) and the Association of Kenya Fish Processors and Exporters (AFIPEK) at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference this month in Nairobi. Themed “Innovative financing to transition to an in inclusive Green and Blue Economy” the forum was attended by key players from the financial services sector.

Lack of capital remains a critical impediment in stimulating the growth of Kenya’s green and blue economy. Millions of livelihoods stand to be elevated through exploiting the opportunities available in Kenya’s fishery and aquaculture industry.

Already, the sector employs over 500,000 people and another two million are supported indirectly in Kenya. However, 2017 saw a drop in total fish output, dropping to 18.7 percent from 19.8 percent in 2015. The health of the ocean continues to be a concern and capital is needed to ensure the sustainability of the blue economy.

Opened by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, the three-day conference was attended by over 16,000 delegates from across the world. Among them were 11 heads of states, Cabinet Secretaries and other senior government officials.

FSD Africa, Director of Capital Markets, Mr. Evans Osano; FSD Africa, Capital Markets Development Specialist, Mr. Vimal Parmar; and the GBPK Program Manager, Ms. Cecilia Murai attended the high-level side event as representatives of the Program. Notably, Kenya Bankers Association’s Governing Council Member and CEO of Commercial Bank of Africa, Mr. Jeremy Ngunze and UNEP Finance Initiative Africa Network Coordinator, Ms. Caroline Sonje Wakesho were also in attendance.

Dr. Evans Osano, Director of Financial Markets at FSD Africa stated “the GBPK has once again brought together great minds at the forefront of funding innovative investments to drive a sustainable blue and green economy. The programme is committed to supporting financial institutions in their pursuit to issue green bonds”.

Speaking during the event was Prof. Rashid Sumalia of University of British Colombia. He stated that Kshs. 35 billion goes to large scale fisheries leaving small scale fisheries with a substantially smaller market share. He encouraged the sector to be more inclusive if Kenya is to transition into a blue economy.

In his remarks, National Treasury’s Climate Change Specialist, Mr. Peter Odhego highlighted the government’s commitment to create a conducive environment to spur green finance in Kenya. He also stated that rising sea levels due to the impacts of climate change will continue to be a threat towards catalysing the establishment of a blue economy in Kenya if action is not taken.

The Kenya Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) has estimated that the country needs about USD 23.5 billion to transition the country into a green economy. Green bonds are an innovative instrument that can direct capital towards this ambition and in so doing address the impediments affecting the sustainability of Kenya’s fishery and aquaculture industry.

KBA’s Sustainability lead and Director, Ms. Nuru Mugambi reiterated the GBPK’s goal of developing a green bond market in Kenya which will also address the sustainability of the country’s blue economy. Globally, in 2017, over USD 155 Billion green bonds had been issued. In 2018, an estimate of USD 250 to 300 Billion is expected to be issued worldwide. She also encouraged the introduction of disincentives such as ensuring polluters incur penalty costs to deter environmental degradation.

The event served as a vehicle for driving the sustainable blue economy conversation forward. In addition, it provided a platform to showcase innovative financial instruments presently available towards achieving this end.

About the program partners

Green Bonds Program Kenya

The Green Bonds Program - Kenya is a multi-year program with the objective to build the domestic green bond market and to support the first green issuances come to market.

The Program is a partnership between Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and FMO, the Dutch Development Bank. The program is endorsed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the National Treasury.

Kenya Bankers Association

KBA ( was founded on 16th July 1962. Today, KBA is the financial sector’s leading advocacy group and banking industry umbrella body that represents total assets in excess of USD 37 billion. KBA has evolved and broadened its function to include advocacy on behalf of the banking industry, and championing financial sector development through strategic projects such as the launch of the industry’s first P2P digital payments platform PesaLink. In line with the Government’s policy on public-private partnerships, KBA and Central Bank of Kenya have implemented key projects such as modernization of the National Payments System through the Automated Clearing House, implementing the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), and the Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative. The KBA members are comprised of commercial banks and deposit taking microfinance banks.

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)

The NSE is a company established under the Companies Act, Cap 486 of the Laws of Kenya (as amended) and is licensed by the Capital Markets Authority to promote, develop, support and carry on the business of a securities and derivatives exchange and to discharge all the functions of a securities and derivatives exchange under the applicable Laws of the Republic of Kenya.

Climate Change Initiative (CBI)

The CBI is a private company limited by guarantee, established under the Companies Act 2006 of the United Kingdom and registered as a charity in England and Wales, and mandated to work for the preservation and conservation of the environment for the public benefit.

FSD Africa

FSD Africa is a non-profit company which aims to increase prosperity, create jobs and reduce poverty by bringing about a transformation in financial markets in sub-Saharan Africa. It provides know-how and capital to champions of change whose ideas, influence and actions will make finance more useful to African businesses and households. It is funded by the UK aid from the UK Government


FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 45 years. With a mission to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world, FMO invests in sectors where their contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. Alongside partners, invests vary in the infrastructure, manufacturing and services sectors. With an investment portfolio of EUR 8.8 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks globally.

WWF - Kenya

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global conservation organization, is one of the largest conservation organizations in the world. WWF-Kenya (WWF-K) implements programs and projects that contribute to providing an enabling environment for the achievement of sustainable natural resource management. WWF-K is currently supporting the Green Bonds Programme - Kenya to determine the existing and estimated future investment potential and financing demand for green investment projects in Kenya

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