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CEC announces registration of Zambia’s First Green Bond

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Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC) has announced the registration of its green bond with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the sidelines of the COP 28 Climate Summit.  This registration of the Green Bond is a first for Zambia’s capital markets and is expected to attract more green finance in the country.

Making the announcement during the Climate Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Energy Day, CEC Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Owen Silavwe, said “we are pleased to announce the registration of our US$200 million Green Bond, structured as a programme, whose proceeds will accelerate the actualisation of our ambitions to generate at least 200MW of renewable energy and specifically solar energy with possible storage implementation.”

Speaking at the same function, Minister of Green Economy, and Environment, Honourable, Engineer Collins Nzovu, said the Zambian Government has developed a green growth strategy, which is part of its aspiration to become a prosperous middle-income country by 2023.

He said the Green Growth strategy is Zambia’s blueprint for greening the economy and the environment by deliberately pursuing a development trajectory that is resource efficient, low carbon, climate resilient and socially inclusive.

He added that the Government has put in place two regulatory frames that are being leveraged to raise green investments, these being the Green Bonds Framework issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2019 and the Green Loans Framework issued by the Bank of Zambia.

The Minister congratulated CEC for successfully registering the country’s Debut Green Bond, further commending the private sector’s leadership in showcasing Zambia’s prowess in the green energy transition.  The US$200 million bond programme has its first tranche of US$54 million, closing by the end of the year.  The lead arrangers of the Green Bond are Cygnum Capital, with Emerging Africa Investment Fund (EAIF), as cornerstone investors in partnership with Absa Group.

“We are proud to have been the lead arrangers for CEC’s green bond”, Cygnum Capital representative, James Doree said. “It demonstrates how the combination of a strong sponsor; a transparent policy framework and supportive anchor investor can drive private sector solutions to the green energy transition.”

“We are thrilled to be the cornerstone investor to the first Zambian green bond programme” said Paromita Chatterjee (representative of the Emerging Africa Investment Fund, a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company).”

He added that he is confident that this avenue of financing will complement the traditional financing options to fast-track energy transition.

“Our partnership with the sponsor has made it possible to actualise the ingenious financing” said Theuns Ehlers, head of project finance at Absa Group. “Having a sponsor with strong operational and financial capabilities has helped the structuring and bankability of a private-to-private project finance bond raise therefore, we are very proud to be associated with this transaction.”    

Adding to the conversation, the Securities and Exchange Commission Director for Market Supervision and Development, Nonde Sichilima said “the announcement of the registration of the green bond is a positive development for our capital markets. We anticipate that it will catalyse the listing of more green bonds as a means of capital raising for green initiatives and contribute towards deepening capital in our country”.

The proceeds from the bond, will be deployed towards further solar generation investments within the CEC Group through CEC Renewables. CEC Renewables is an investment vehicle established by the CEC Group, through which renewable energy development is actualised.

“We began our renewable energy journey, particularly in solar generation 5 years ago and our announcement today is an affirmation of our commitment to support Zambia’s green energy transition”. Said Mr Silavwe.

The Bond will open and close within December 2023.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 6th December, 2023)

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ZNS warehouse robbed, 212 GMO mealie meal bags en-route to DRC vanish.

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OVER 200 bags of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) mealie meal meant for export into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been stolen by unknown criminals.

The mealie meal is believed to have been stolen from a Zambia National Service (ZNS) warehouse at Kasumbalesa, where the contraband was stored, awaiting exportation.

ZNS chief marketing and public relations Colonel Mable Nyone said the service as well as police have since launched investigations into the matter.

“The Zambia National Service (ZNS) regrets to report that thieves last night broke into one of our warehouses at Kasumbalesa Border which house imported Eagles mealie meal meant for export to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and made away with about 212 by 25 kilograms of mealie meal estimated at more than K68, 000.This incident represents a slap in the face of the Service’s noble efforts of supplementing Government’s efforts of generating additional resources to complement those coming from the treasury,” she said

Colonel Nyone warned that those involved in the illegal act should, therefore, brace themselves to face the full force of the law.

She said the service, working closely with the Zambia Police, will fiercely pursue the individuals behind this irresponsible criminal act to ensure they are brought to justice.

“The perpetrators risk facing, not only charges related to breaking in and stealing bags of mealie meal but also a possible charge on illegally offloading genetically modified organism (GMO) commodities onto the local market, should they attempt to offload the commodity on the Zambian soil,” she said.

Colonel Nyone urged Zambian citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to the sale or distribution of the stolen ZNS mealie meal, particularly those bearing black labels.

“As a direct response to the unfortunate incident, ZNS will intensify security measures at all of our depots to prevent any further occurrences. We are committed to safeguarding our facilities while at the same time protecting the interests of the Zambian people who have chosen not to consume any GMO product,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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ZRA uncovers vehicle identity scam

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THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has unearthed a motor vehicle identity scam in which perpetrators use registration numbers of other motor vehicles to smuggle vehicles into the country.

In a recent development related to the ongoing investigation, a vehicle previously belonging to the Zambia Revenue Authority, which was involved in an accident and subsequently written off by the insurance company, has had its registration details illicitly used for another vehicle.

ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said the new vehicle was not duly cleared, and no duties were paid for its registration, constituting a serious violation of national laws and regulations under the Customs and Excise Act.

He said the estimated revenue loss from this smuggling act is K 97,700.

“The vehicle in question has since been detained by the Authority, and extensive investigations are underway to uncover the individuals responsible for this fraudulent activity. This incident underscores the sophisticated nature of the fraud being perpetrated and the lengths to which individuals will go to circumvent legal and regulatory frameworks,” he said.

Mr Nzala said the Authority in partnership with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), the Zambia Police Service, and other key stakeholders, is intensifying efforts to enhance the security features of vehicle registration documents and to tighten controls across the board.

“Our goal is to prevent future incidents of fraud and to protect public revenues and safety. We call upon anyone with information related to vehicle identity theft, including the misuse of registration details of vehicles written off or involved in accidents, to provide such information to ZRA. Your cooperation is vital in our ongoing efforts to combat these illegal activities,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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MultiChoice Talent Factory wins CSR and Responsible Business Leadership award

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THE MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative of MultiChoice, has been honored with the prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Business Leadership Award at the 5th CSR and Responsible Business Awards Ceremony.

The event took place in Livingstone.

The award is bestowed upon organisations that demonstrate outstanding commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and exhibit exemplary leadership in responsible business practices.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy which was established in 2018, has been a beacon of opportunity for aspiring creatives across Africa.

“The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy has been active since 2018 and is currently entering its 5th cohort. It is a comprehensive one-year, MultiChoice fully sponsored training program accredited by the University of Zambia, designed to develop the professional skills of young creatives in the African film and television industry,” reads a statement.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 19th February, 2024)

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