Bank of America has completed of the first ‘Debt–for-Nature’ transaction in Continental Africa and Africa’s first ever involving private creditors to refinance $500 million of Gabon’s sovereign debt. The new funding will enable Gabon to contribute $125 million to support ocean conservation.
The transaction is Africa’s largest debt refinancing for ocean conservation to date. It will enable the Gabonese Republic to contribute $125 million in new funding for ocean conservation, supporting their commitment to protect 30 percent of its lands, freshwater systems, and ocean by 2030.
Ocean health is critical to the world economy and the global communities who rely on it to survive. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the sustainable ocean economy is nearly $3 trillion, roughly 3 to 5 percent of the global GDP.
Bank of America acted as Sole Initial Purchaser, Structuring Agent and Bookrunner on the $500 million issuance, marking the start of what will be a 15-year-long conservation and refinancing project for Gabon.
“As the first debt–for-nature transaction in Continental Africa, this transaction demonstrates Bank of America’s commitment to sustainable finance and our ability to innovate for our clients. We are encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the global investor community and hope this transaction will serve as a blueprint that can be scaled for other countries interested in improving the sustainability of their debt, while putting global capital to work in enhancing natural capital,” said Paul M. Donofrio, vice chair of Bank of America.