Dr. Azeta Cungu noted the speaking to APRACA colleagues in Bangkok:
I wanted to thank the organisers, once again, for the opportunity to participate and contribute to this event, rich in technical content and practical examples.
As you know, there is growing interest on blended finance as an instrument for catalysing private investments in agri-SMEs thanks to its role in de-risking and improving profitability. The latter are critical for creating commercially viable investment opportunities.
The event provided an opportunity to exchange on issues regarding the role and most effective use of BF in agriculture, process through which a specific blended solution is chosen, the roles of the various actors in the blended model, particularly for concessional capital, elements of the structuring process, etc.
As expected, the insights from the country and regional experiences were most thought provoking. I would like to share with your readers some of the lessons that I took with me from these discussions.
One key highlight was the shared appreciation by all participants that technical assistance can be a critical contributor to the success of the blended solutions. Developing a pipeline of bankable projects is an essential aspect here, as is the creation of a conducive context in terms of the policy and regulatory environment.
Moving forward, there is need for developing a deeper understanding of the various BF structuring approaches; stronger evidence on who benefits from these arrangements, how and under what conditions; greater coordination capacities given their complexity and the multitude of actors involved; shared principles of transparency and responsible involvement by all actors.