What We Do
Solutions for change
Deliver evidence-based policy
Effective policy is critical for sustainable development. ZeniZeni provides evidence-based policy advice and conducts independent policy research on a range of sustainable finance issues.
Balancing Concessional Finance and Debt Distress in African Middle-income Countries
while Addressing Climate Action
Our research paper is premised on the view that concessional finance offers a unique solution to bridge the financing gap. We explore the challenges that Africa's middle income countries are facing in accessing concessional finance for climate change, and provide recommendations to address these challenges.
The paper offers eight realistic and actionable recommendations for policy-makers, funders and lenders, based on four criteria: have a positive climate impact, be affordable, be politically viable, and open up the fiscal space while maintaining debt sustainability. The recommendations are grouped into two categories, namely "Supply-side interventions required by MDBs and bilateral agencies", and "Demand-side interventions required by African MIC policy-makers".
Member of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres'
High Level Expert Group on
net-zero commitments of non-state entities
The HLEG aimed to develop stronger and clearer standards for net-zero emissions pledges by non-State entities – such as cities, municipalities, regions, states, provinces, private and public companies, including financial institutions – and speed up their implementation. The HLEG's main task was to make recommendations promoting more ambitious climate action, and environmental integrity. The Secretary-General announced his recommendations during COP27 (United Nations Climate Change Conference), which was held in Egypt in November 2022. The Group released its Integrity Matters report during COP27. See also the UNFCCC Recognition and Accountability Framework, which draws on the Integrity Matters report.
Finance-focused climate policy, strategy and research
for the European Climate Foundation
ZeniZeni provides thought leadership and research on financial sector policies relevant to addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the just transition towards a low carbon, resilient economy. Our experience in the financial sector, combined with an understanding of climate change policy issues that are relevant to Africa, allows us to provide a unique perspective on effective financial sector policy response to one of the most critical global issues: climate change.
Contribution to the development of South Africa’s National Climate Finance Strategy
for the South African Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment (DFFE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
ZeniZeni was appointed by DFFE, in partnership with GIZ and the National Treasury, to develop South Africa’s National Climate Finance Strategy. ZeniZeni worked with two of our strategic partners to deliver this work, Agulhas Applied Knowledge and Grounded Media, leading a team of experts that included economists, sustainable development and climate change experts and communications professionals. The team carried out a Literature Review on current knowledge relevant to development of the Strategy (including a focus on the current climate finance context in South Africa, as well as international learning and best practice), researched the landscape of local and international climate finance, and laid the foundations for work that provided a clear overview of finance in the context of a climate change response policy.
Green Finance concept document
for the 2019 Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial conference
The 2019 Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial conference was a gathering of around 500 innovators and leaders from governments, civil society, private sector, development organisations, media and the general public. The concept document developed by ZeniZeni was used to guide the conference’s programme related to ‘How do we unlock green finance?’, showcasing the experiences and creativity of first-movers with a goal to widen partnerships and engage in an open debate about what it is going to take to for a ‘just transition’ to economies and societies that are more inclusive, stable and sustainable.
Understand and influence
The world of sustainable finance is ever-changing, bringing exciting opportunities, real challenges, risks and rewards. Use ZeniZeni’s research expertise to understand the drivers in the sector. We can help you use this knowledge and understanding to advocate for strategies that use finance as a lever for change.
Changing finance to catalyse transformation: how financial institutions can accelerate the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy
for United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Outlook (GEO) 6 for Business
ZeniZeni’s Managing Director was a lead author of this brief, which “explores ways in which the financial sector is starting to play a catalytic role in financing businesses to transition towards delivering environmentally sustainable food, energy and waste systems as discussed in GE0-6”.
The brief also “provides insight into how the financial sector is changing to better contribute to the UN Paris Agreement goals and the SDGs. It also includes recommendations on how financial institutions can accelerate this shift in order to more rapidly transform public and private companies into businesses that contribute to achieving the SDGs while avoiding environmental degradation, restoring ecosystems and eliminating pollution”.
Inclusive Green Finance: a survey of the policy landscape, 2nd edition, 2020
for the Alliance for Financial Inclusion
ZeniZeni conducted primary and secondary research to update the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) Inclusive Green Finance: a Survey of the Policy Landscape report on the actions undertaken by AFI members to support inclusive, green finance. This included interviews with financial sector policy makers and/or regulators from Argentina, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Mongolia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zimbabwe, research, analysis and report writing. AFI is the world’s leading organisation on financial inclusion policy and regulation, with membership from central banks and other financial regulatory institutions from more than 80 emerging and developing countries. The research and report are used as a foundation for AFI’s peer-to-peer-based learning on inclusive green finance.
We support deals in Africa that aim to achieve sustainable impact. Support is at any deal stage, from origination and scoping through to financial close. This includes structuring, developing financial models, publishing project information memoranda and negotiating terms. Our high-level expertise and focus on sustainability issues results in robust, sustainable deals that are attractive to financiers looking for development impact.
Climate Finance expertise
for Global Water Partnership Southern Africa’s (GWPSA’s) Regional Technical Committee (RTEC)
ZeniZeni supports the technical capacity of the GWPSA Secretariat to deliver effectively on the GWP-SA work programmes, including proposal development, developing terms of reference and providing technical reviews. GWPSA is one of 13 regional networks that make up GWP, an international network that was created in 1996 to foster implementation of integrated water resources management: the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources that maximises economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of ecosystems and the environment.
Mobilising finance and financial analysis advice for transboundary water projects in southern Africa
for the ‘Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility’ (CRIDF), through TetraTech
CRIDF is a UK-Aid funded programme that develops transboundary water infrastructure projects in southern African countries that are climate-resilient and inclusive. ZeniZeni has helped CRIDF mobilise GBP65m in-principle funding for projects, including the USD4bn Lesotho-Botswana Water Transfer project and the Songwe Hydropower Project. We have also has added value by developing an analytical process to help ensure the bankability of projects and by providing on-the-job training in funding and financial analysis to CRIDF programme members. Working with CRIDF has built ZeniZeni’s knowledge around FCDO programme management and general NEC contracting and reporting.
Make big ideas work
Strategy development and execution
ZeniZeni has years of experience in developing and implementing sustainable finance related strategies. We provide independent, expert advice to guide you through the strategy development process, including help in selling your bold idea to decision makers.
for the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ)
ZeniZeni served on the Advisory Panel of GFANZ, a global coalition of leading financial institutions committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of the economy. The Advisory Panel comprises technical climate action groups, with a focus on financial sector expertise. The role of the Advisory Panel is to “provide strategic and technical advice, support cross-system collaboration to join up efforts and minimize duplication and ultimately help GFANZ reflect, amplify and influence best practice in the most robust way that leverages existing expertise and momentum”.
Women’s programme strategy
for the Alternative Prosperity Foundation
As a board member of the Foundation, ZeniZeni’s Managing Director provided overall strategic advice to the Foundation and helped develop the Foundation’s women’s programme strategy. The Foundation’s focus is on developing black leaders in South Africa who drive nation-building and transformation agendas. In addition to the women’s programme, the Foundation has programmes that focus on the following areas: youth empowerment, fiduciary empowerment, and diversity living and leadership.