OeEB aims for min. 40% share of climate-relevant financing and wants to continue to be Austria's largest international climate finance provider. The new strategy also places more focus on least developed countries.
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has presented its new strategy "Financing our Shared Future". Over the next five years, the focus of new financing and equity participations will be on renewable energy, infrastructure and financial inclusion/promotion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Strengthening the private sector in developing and emerging countries remains the main objective of all OeEB activities.
Least developed countries, especially those in Africa, are put even more in focus. Climate protection and gender mainstreaming, i.e. the increased involvement of women in the economy, are a central component of the new strategy.
OeEB's activities play a key role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with its involvement in challenging markets it is often a door opener for the Austrian economy.
Growth market Africa
"Africa is predicted to double its population by 2050. What the population needs is jobs," said OeEB board members Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata. "Ultimately, only sustainable private sector development creates prospects for the people. We strive to create one fifth of our new business in Africa."
So far, Africa has hardly attracted any attention from Austrian companies, with only 1.2% of all Austrian exports going there. Overall, Africa is underestimated as an economic partner - political uncertainties have shaped the current picture, the geographical proximity to Europe and the innovative power, especially in the digital sector, is given too little attention.
"Africa has a lot of catching up to do in terms of infrastructure development, and there is enormous potential in the fields of renewable energy, waste management and the environment, where Austrian companies have a great deal of expertise," explains Michael Wancata.
Sustainable climate finance
"We see ourselves as a 'climate bank'," explains Sabine Gaber, "which means that we make climate-relevant considerations in all our projects." In the field of renewable energy, the contribution to climate protection is obvious, but also in the other core areas of the OeEB strategy "Financing our Shared Future" - infrastructure and financial inclusion/MSME - play an important role in climate protection.
To date, OeEB has provided around EUR 600 million in climate-relevant financing, and the trend is rising. In Africa, around 620 million people have no access to electricity, and power outages are part of everyday life. Although the region has great potential for the use of renewable energy sources, it is still rarely used. OeEB mainly finances hydropower, wind and solar power projects in Africa via investments in private equity funds.