April 20, 2024

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Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) invests in leading climate tech company KOKO as part of carbon business growth

Innovative carbon financing solution enables expansion of clean energy and forest protection across Africa

RMB has announced today a strategic partnership with climate technology leader KOKO, where it has acted as the lead mandated arranger and financier for a pioneering carbon financing solution, to further propel KOKO’s climate objectives.

In Africa, over 900 million people cook with polluting fuels like charcoal, directly driving millions of hectares of deforestation and over 600,000 deaths from household air pollution each year, and emitting greenhouse gases that are similar in scale to the global aviation industry. To solve this problem, a continent-wide energy transition to clean and modern fuels is required.

KOKO is leading this transition, replacing demand for charcoal through supplying over 1.1 million homes with bioethanol cooking fuel distributed through a dense network of high-tech KOKO Fuel ATMs located in thousands of corner stores across urban Kenya. The resultant carbon revenues are shared with households as a non-government energy subsidy, enabling even the poorest households to switch.

Says Phil Norton, Carbon Finance Lead at RMB: “We are proud to partner with KOKO in supporting their continued rapid growth while bringing far more affordable and lower emissions energy to millions of people in Africa. As a pan-African investment bank, this deal fits well within our ambition to build a market leading carbon trading and finance business operating across Africa, serving both existing and new clients.”

According to Greg Murray, CEO & Co-Founder of KOKO, RMB has demonstrated strong conviction on the opportunity to harness carbon in a manner that transforms the lives of Africa’s citizens. “We’ve been looking for an entrepreneurial banking partner that understands Africa, climate markets and technology. We are proud to embark on this long-term partnership with RMB to help accelerate the expansion of KOKO’s platform across Africa.”

Nigel Beck, Head of Sustainable Finance and ESG Advisory at RMB, adds: “Partnering with KOKO will help develop the African carbon market and will align closely with the Nairobi Declaration, Africa’s recently communicated strategy on using carbon as a mechanism to help finance Africa’s Energy transition.”

The Nairobi Declaration was delivered at the close of the Africa Climate Summit in Kenya in September this year and forms a core part of Africa’s negotiating position at the COP28 climate summit currently underway.

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