BusinessDay

AVPA partners UNDP to grow sustainable finance in Africa

The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), a Pan-African network of social investors working to mobilise and deploy capital for impact, has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its Africa Sustainable Finance Hub (ASFH) to promote sustainable finance in Africa.

The collaboration which kicks off with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Impact Standards User Training for African Corporates, aims to support the African private sector to contribute to the SDGs and the African Union agenda 2063.

Frank Aswani, chief executive officer of AVPA said, “The AVPA-UNDP partnership engages corporate and industry leaders to raise awareness and facilitate understanding and practical skills about managing for impact and integrating sustainability at the core of decision-making practices through a common language. This will address a systemic gap in the market that hampers impact measurement and management practices from going beyond reporting to decision making and recognizing the business case for the SDGs adoption amongst African corporates.”

Ayodele Odusola, manager of the UNDP Africa Sustainable Finance Hub, added that the UNDPs SDG Impact Standards are best practice guides for enterprises and investors to operate more sustainably and optimise their contribution to the SDGs.

“Our partnership with AVPA will provide the African private sector with a framework for integrating responsible business and impact management practices into their strategy, organisational systems, and internal decision-making to optimise interrelated economic, social, and environmental impacts,” Odusola said.

Also, AVPA stated that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt hard in Africa which led to a 2.1 percent decline in the continent’s GDP per capita resulting in the worst recession in 50 years.

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“An estimated 20 million jobs were lost in 2020 alone, pushing up to 40 million people into extreme poverty. This is over and above the pre-COVID-19 annual SDG financing gap estimated at between $500 billion to $1.2 trillion. In Africa, COVID-19 recovery is estimated to cost USD 153 billion. Currently, these financing needs cannot be met as the continent’s traditional sources of social investments, aid, and government funding, are declining and under pressure,” AVPA stated.

“This calls for us to broaden the funding base to include private financial and capital markets in a way that fosters the growth of fair, inclusive, and sustainable economies. A shift of only 3.7 percent of the $100 trillion of assets held globally by institutional investors towards sustainable activities in developing countries would be sufficient to fill the $3.7 trillion annual global SDG financing gap”

Meanwhile, the partners said they will leverage the UNDP’s SDG Investor Maps to showcase and analyse African SDG investment opportunities that will help shift the assets of corporate and private investors into SDGs.

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