Partnering up with Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank

Previously, we covered the Rabobank delegation’s visit to Zambia, meeting with (among others) Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank (or ZICB), a commercial bank that’s licensed by Zambia’s central bank and national banking regulator. Acorn account manager Jasper Snellen explains how the partnership agreement we signed with ZICB makes our connection a unique one.

A common goal for the common good

ZICB is dedicated to supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Many of these SMEs are agricultural in nature, providing quite a bit of overlap with our own commitment to smallholder farmers. Jasper summarizes: “So, we sat together and concluded: you know Acorn, you know what needs to be done, and you want to move towards climate finance. Could we explore which parts of your portfolio would be suitable for Acorn involvement?”

That turned out to be four separate parties. In an as-of-yet unprecedented organizational structure, ZICB will be acting as our local partner in Zambia, with these four parties functioning as sub-contractors of a sort, consulting and maintaining contact with the farmers. 

“Together, we had already signed a memorandum of understanding in February. In that MOU, we expressed the ambitious goal to onboard a million farmers together by 2030,” Jasper adds. “Now we’ve signed a partnership agreement as well, solidifying our collaboration.”

The first carbon conference

The first highlight of this partnership was Zambia’s first carbon conference, which Jasper attended. Organized by Carbon Forest Zambia and ZICB, the event featured Zambia’s Minister of Green Economy & Environment as well as 250 attendees, with a variety of parties presenting their missions and activities, among which Acorn. Jasper: “We provided a training session to explain how you can become a local partner for Acorn, the requirements that are involved.” 

As our involvement and cooperation with ZICB expands, it’s good to note that all this grew from a simple conversation at the beginning of 2022. ZICB, having heard of Acorn, at that time introduced us to a potentially interesting party: Carbon Forest Zambia. It just goes to show that planting a small seed can lead to great things.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding between ZICB and Rabobank

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Jasper SnellenAccount ManagerLinkedIn
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