‘SMEs key driver for GDP growth’
FDH Bank Managing Director Noel Mkulichi has said Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a key driver of economic growth, innovation and job and wealth creation.
Mkulichi said this recently during a panel discussion at the 8th Green Finance Conference organised by the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and sponsored by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).
According to Mkulichi, a vibrant SME sector provides a solid foundation for economic development and, therefore, paramount in reducing poverty in the country.
He said that that is the main reason FDH Bank focuses on supporting and serving SMEs in Malawi.
“We are now moving in to support more women and youth led SMES and Green SMEs as we continue to contribute towards the Malawi 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals,” Mkulichi said.
The conference was aimed at providing African countries with enhanced expertise in increasing financing for low-carbon development and promoting SMEs as a major driver.
In recent years, FDH Bank has been working with the government of Malawi in driving financial inclusion and promoting SMEs and leverages its partnership with the AGF to promote easy access to finance for SMEs.
AGF Group Chief Executive Officer Jules Ngankam said the fund is committed to helping Malawi commercial banks to lend more resources to small and medium enterprises in the green space which are considered by many as risky.
“We have been talking about climate change and pollution for decades. We had the first phase where the world leaders, the scholars, and the media were trying to convince people, households, and businesses about climate change, pollution, and the fact that some natural resources are becoming scarce. They have been raising awareness for many years.
“That phase is over. We have started a new phase. This phase is called green transition. The green transition is defining a new way of living, a new way of doing business, a new way of exchanging goods and services. At the core of this green transition, we have the commercial banks, we have the financial institutions. AGF is part of the financial institutions,” Ngankam said.
The conference was held under the theme The Contribution of Africa’s Private Sector to the Achievement of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.