The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (AGF) plans to hold an annual tree planting day in a bid to increase Kenya’s fast-dwindling forest cover.
The AGF made the commitment a week during a tree planting activity at Kereita Forest, Kiambu County, to mark this year’s International Day of Climate Action.
AGF planted over 10,000 trees during the ceremony. The tree planting activity, one of its corporate social responsibility activities, under Environmental Sustainability for Tomorrow’s Economy theme was hosted by Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO).
AGF plans to make the tree planting day an annual event that targets multiple regions of the country.
The tree planting occasion comes at a time when the Kenyan government through the Ministry of Environment has embarked on a tree planting campaign — panda miti boresha maisha — across the country.
AGF through one of its products, the Green Guarantee Facility, has been keen to foster Climate Finance.
The Green Guarantee assists financial institutions to partially cover the risks associated with financing SMEs with green investments and thus enable them increase their portfolio in that asset class.
“An increasing number of SMEs have ventured into business that tackle climate change effects. SME lenders are urged to increase their lending towards these SMEs,” said AGF in a statement.
AGF issues guarantee products to financial institutions across the continent to enable them increase their lending to SMEs.
The organisation has over the past six years, made available Sh140 billion ($1.4 Billion) of financing for SMEs. The guarantee fund has more than ten partner financial institutions in Kenya including Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).