On Finance Day, CIB hosted two panels under the theme “From Africa to The World,” aiming to support the region in addressing climate change impacts, discuss innovative financing instruments and mainstream climate finance for adaptation projects in the region.

Cairo, Egypt – Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s leading private sector bank, successfully hosted two different panel discussions on 9 November as part of its participation in COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. CIB kicked off COP27 with the first panel titled “The Business Case for Adaptation Finance: Brain Trust”. 

The panel invited leaders from financial institutions to discuss the Brain Trust business model, an Africa-led initiative, which aims to mobilize financing and address the misalignment between global private funds and adaptation projects in sustainable and sufficient food systems in Africa, aiming to close the adaptation finance gap. The panelists included Mr. Hussein Abaza, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at CIB; Mr. Oussama Kaissi, Chief Executive Officer at The Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment and Export Credit; Dr. Al-Hamndou Dorsouma, Ag. Director of the Climate Change and Green Growth Department at the African Development Bank; and Mr. Talha Karim, Chief Risk Officer at CIB. 

“Over the years, CIB has expanded its alignment and commitment to global frameworks, recognizing the Bank’s role in a wider movement to meet the climate adaptation needs for Africa, especially with regards to food and water.” Mr. Hussein Abaza, CEO and Managing Director, CIB “ICIEC and peer multilaterals have an important role in contributing to the international climate finance ecosystem. We are committed to further boosting our green and sustainable finance operations. But, it is important for all partners and stakeholders to share learned experiences, success stories, best practices and explore investment and trade opportunities for adaptation.” - Mr. Oussama Kaissi, Chief Executive Officer, The Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment and Export Credit.

 “CIB is very cognizant of the risks associated with climate change. As climate challenges continue to rise, Africa will be vulnerable to significant environmental and social risks. Through climate finance, whereby adaptation and mitigation finance become mainstreamed, financial institutions have the power and the tools to achieve region wide sustainable development.” Mr. Talha Karim, Chief Risk Officer, CIB “The time has come for African Financial institutions to develop an innovative mechanism that demonstrate the invest-ability of Adaptation projects to attract private investments towards finance projects in Africa, particularly those tackling agriculture and water insecurity. There are approximately 250 million people suffering from food and water scarcity in Africa. CIB launched the “Brain Trust” conceptual construct with the purpose of mobilizing the investments required to finance these projects. The “Brain Trust” will also support the newly launched national program Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) and help mobilize funds for development projects in the food and water sectors” Dr. Dalia Abdelkader, Chief Sustainability Officer, CIB

The panel also tackled the role of financial institutions in innovating new business models that monetize and account for the economic, environmental and social benefits of the adaptation projects. 
The second panel, titled “Climate Finance Instrument Innovation,” was moderated by Mr. Peter Cashion, Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Climate Finance - Financial Institutions Group at International Finance Corporation (IFC). The panel explored ways to mainstream innovation of climate finance instruments in Africa, discussed the roles of regulators and financial institutions, and demonstrated the business case of climate finance for adaptation projects. The panelists included, Mr. Sherif Samy, Chairman of CIB; Mr. Cheick-Oumar Sylla, Director for North Africa at IFC; Ms. Wendy Dobson, Head of Group Corporate Citizenship at Standard Bank Group; and Ms. Heba Abdel Latif, Head of FI & Correspondent Banking at CIB as well as a Judith Sidi Odhiambo, Head of Corporate Regulatory Affairs at from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB Group). Highlighted below some takeaways from the panel discussions.

“CIB’s Board of Directors is committed to diversifying its sustainable finance instruments. With the Bank’s launch of the first corporate Green Bond in Egypt, in collaboration with the IFC, we are keen to accelerate system transformation on a regional level to better meet the continent’s adaptation and mitigation needs,” said Mr. Sherif Samy.

 “Following CIB’s successful USD 100 million Green Bond issuance in collaboration with the IFC, we recognize the urgency of advancing innovation in climate finance instruments, such as sustainability-linked loans and bonds. The regulatory ecosystem in Egypt is evolving to further advance the climate finance agenda,” said Ms. Heba Abd El Latif.

“We have been seeing a lot of product innovation recently, particularly in capital markets. The IFC has been playing a pivotal role since 2010 in launching climate bonds, specifically green bonds, which saw great success in emerging markets. We are currently witnessing the advent and development of several new capital market instruments, such blue bonds, used for clean water, ocean-friendly products and sustainable shipping, and sustainability-linked bonds.” said Mr. Peter Cashion. 

The panel also addressed the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the stressed economic conditions, sustainable finance has been booming in Africa during the past couple of years, as evidenced by the successful offering of several green and social bonds and the main factor for the successful issuance of sustainable finance instruments has been the evolving dynamic relationship and collaboration between commercial banks, multilateral development banks and financial regulators.

CIB will continue to be present throughout the entirety of COP27, with a booth in the Green Zone at the Business Pavilion of Egypt. The Bank will also be hosting three additional panels on the 11th on Decarbonization Day and the 15th of November on ACE and Civil Society Day.

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