CRDB Bank, CRDB Bank Foundation and Proparco pair up to support clean cooking agenda

CRDB Bank and CRDB Bank Foundation’s delegation on the left column and the Proparco’s counterpart on the right in a group photo amid their recent discussion on clean energy cooking partnership.

Paris, France - May 13, 2024. CRDB Bank, CRDB Bank Foundation, and Proparco held talks today to enhance collaboration in empowering youth and women MSMEs and startups in Tanzania, Burundi, and the DRC, where CRDB Bank subsidiaries operate.

In alignment with the global SDG agenda, the parties also explored the need to integrate climate financing, focusing on advancing a President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s clean cooking agenda.

This includes investing in companies and startups developing and distributing clean cooking technologies to scale up their operations.

Moreover, initiatives to empower women entrepreneurs to access clean cooking stoves and promote the use of alternative energy sources, such as animal waste and agricultural residues, to generate electricity were discussed.

The importance of capacity-building in utilizing clean energy technologies and running sustainable businesses was also underscored, with CRDB Bank Foundation playing a pivotal role in this endeavour.

Abdulmajid Nsekela, Group CEO of CRDB Bank, expressed excitement about strengthening collaboration with Proparco to empower MSMEs across the region.

CRDB Bank Group CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela speaks at the meeting with a French-based Proparco’s senior officials led by Chief Financial Officer, Gonzague Monreal (not seen in the photo) amid their recent discussion on clean energy cooking partnership). On his right is CRDB Bank Foundation Managing Director, Tully Esther Mwambapa and on his left are Joseph Maji, Head of Asset and Liability Management and Kenneth Kaisigila, Head of Policy Advisory and Climate Financing.

“Our discussions with Proparco signifies a commitment to foster entrepreneurship and sustainable development in the region. By joining forces, we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of youth and women entrepreneurs,” he remarked.

Ms Tully Esther Mwambapa, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Foundation, highlighted the potential of the collaboration to reinforce the foundation’s operations and reach.

“This partnership will enable us to expand our IMBEJU programme, targeting one million women and youth entrepreneurs. We are also excited about adding clean cooking interventions to this partnership; not only will this improve health outcomes, but it will also contribute to mitigating climate change,” she affirmed.

Since its inception in March 2023, CRDB Bank Foundation’s IMBEJU program has made significant strides, reaching over 300,000 women and youth startups.

With seed capital exceeding Sh7 billion disbursed to support entrepreneurship, the program has been instrumental in various sectors, including clean cooking.

Gonzague Monreal, Head of Financial Institutions at Proparco, praised CRDB Bank as a valuable partner in economic empowerment, particularly of youth and women entrepreneurs.

“We are impressed by the new collaboration through CRDB Bank Foundation, which will enhance technical assistance to SMEs. Proparco is committed to supporting initiatives that promote inclusive growth,” he affirmed, highlighting the readiness to explore new markets and lauding CRDB Bank’s expansion into the DRC.

Chief of Financial Institutions at Proparco, Gonzague Monreal (second right) speaks the meeting with the CRDB Bank and CRDB Bank Foundations management amid their recent discussion on clean energy cooking partnership.

The longstanding partnership between CRDB Bank and Proparco has yielded tangible results in fostering entrepreneurship in Tanzania. In 2022, the Bank secured a credit line and portfolio guarantees totaling Sh182 billion from Proparco, significantly enhancing its capacity to support MSMEs, especially those led by women and those impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Notably, the institutions recently signed a USD 125 million facility, slated for disbursement this year. CRDB Bank is among the key stakeholders participating in the Clean Cooking Summit for Africa in Paris.

Co-chaired by Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan and the Prime Minister of Norway, H.E. Jonas Gahr Støre, the summit brings together leaders in clean energy and development to address critical challenges and drive sustainable solutions.