South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has announced a partnership with leading climate technology company KOKO, with RMB acting as the lead mandated arranger and financier to accelerate KOKO’s mission in addressing environmental challenges.
Across Africa, over 900 million people rely on fuels like charcoal for cooking, contributing to deforestation, household air pollution, and substantial greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the global aviation industry. To combat this issue, a comprehensive energy transition towards cleaner and modern fuels is essential.
KOKO is at the forefront of this transition, actively replacing the demand for charcoal by supplying bioethanol cooking fuel to over 1.1 million homes. The distribution is facilitated through a network of advanced KOKO Fuel ATMs strategically located in numerous corner stores across urban Kenya. The generated carbon revenues are then shared with households as a non-government energy subsidy, making the transition financially feasible for even the most financially pressed households.
Phil Norton, Carbon Finance Lead at RMB, expressed pride in the partnership with KOKO, stating, “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.”
CEO & Co-Founder of KOKO, Greg Murray, noted that RMB has demonstrated strong conviction in harnessing carbon to transform the lives of Africa’s citizens. He stated, “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, also highlighted the alignment of this partnership with the Nairobi Declaration, Africa’s recently communicated strategy on using carbon as a mechanism to finance the continent’s energy transition. The Nairobi Declaration, unveiled at the Africa Climate Summit in Kenya in September 2023, continues to play a crucial role in shaping Africa’s negotiating position at the COP28 climate summit.
The collaboration between RMB and KOKO is poised to not only drive KOKO’s growth but also contribute significantly to the development of the African carbon market, aligning with broader continental strategies for a sustainable energy transition.
Source: APO Group