Investing in Africa’s Sustainable Future

SBFN and the African Pension Supervisors Forum, in collaboration with the World Bank, hosted a webinar to explore collective leadership for sustainable finance by the African pension sector on January 18, 2022..

What steps is the African pension sector taking to invest in a sustainable future for the continent?

Hear firsthand, practical experiences from African pension fund regulators and supervisors from Kenya and South Africa, as well as South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF), who are responding to new trends in ESG, sustainable finance, and climate change to build a better future for their beneficiaries.

The African Pension Supervisors Forum, established in 2019, is made up of pension supervisory authorities from across the region and chaired by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) of Kenya. The Forum aims to steer the development of the pension sector in Africa, addressing the challenges that are particularly pertinent to the region.

The webinar features latest research from the World Bank on ESG disclosure by African pensions and listed companies. Speakers shared their visions and tools for pension funds to promote sustainable development, contribute to the SDGs, and mobilize national and regional collaboration. They also confirmed the critical importance of ESG risk management, sustainability reporting, and climate risk management as foundations for pension funds to achieve their economic and social responsibilities to their stakeholders.

The webinar is part of SBFN’s webinar series and reflects SBFN’s new expanded focus on national and regional enabling frameworks for sustainable finance across all parts of the financial sector ecosystem, including pensions and capital markets.

For more on sustainable finance across emerging markets, see SBFN’s 2021 Global Progress Report and Country Progress Reports.

Accelerating Sustainable Finance Together

The 2021 SBFN Global Progress Report and Country Progress Reports Launch Webinar took place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, 11 SBFN countries introduced their first national sustainable finance frameworks in the past two years, and over 20 countries launched additional framework documents, including regulations, roadmaps, principles, and technical guidance to enable sustainable finance by all parts of the financial sector. Thirty-three SBFN countries now have over 100 framework documents in place, a sign of depth and maturity in sustainable finance initiatives.

This webinar presents exclusive global and country insights from SBFN’s 2021 Global Progress Report: Accelerating Sustainable Finance Together: Evidence of Policy Innovations and Market Actions across 43 Emerging Markets. Supported by 39 Country Reports, SBFN’s Global Report is based on country-level data shared by SBFN members and assessed using a measurement framework informed and agreed by SBFN members based on their practical experiences. Extensive verification was carried out by the SBN Secretariat and third-party service providers. This included in-depth interviews with over 40 countries between February and July 2021.

IFC Vice President and Chair of the SBFN Secretariat, Alfonso Garcia Mora, joined esteemed speakers from SBFN member institutions to discuss how emerging markets are shifting their financial sectors to sustainable finance practices. They explored how collaboration, both within countries and across borders, can accelerate this process.

For further detail, see SBFN’s 2021 Global Progress Report and Country Progress Reports.

2021 Sustainable Finance Forum

November 24, 2021 | 3 hr 01 min |

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Agenda | Speaker Profiles


The 2021 Sustainable Finance Forum was organized on November 24, 2021 by the National Bank of Georgia, SBFN, IFC, in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO.

This is the 3rd annual Sustainable Finance Forum hosted by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), the central bank of Georgia.

The Forum has become a platform for fruitful discussions with local and regional stakeholders on the development of sustainable finance.

It brought together governors and senior officials of central banks and capital markets regulators from Europe and Central Asia, senior representatives from the Government of Georgia, IFC experts, senior representatives from SBFN member countries, the business community, and other stakeholders.

The 2021 Sustainable Finance Forum featured a number of SBFN member speakers, including NBG, the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Regulation and Development of Financial Market (ARDFM)Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC)Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB, the central bank of Nepal), and the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine (NSSMC).

NBG has been an active SBFN member since 2017. With IFC/SBFN support, NBG launched its Sustainable Finance Roadmap in 2019 and OECD-aligned ESG Reporting and Disclosure Principles in 2020. NBG is the incoming Co-Chair of SBFN’s new Data and Disclosure Working Group, which aims to support country-level developments in sustainable finance data and disclosure and facilitate the continued development of tools and practical guidance for SBFN members.

For more on sustainable finance across 43 emerging markets, see SBFN’s 2021 Global Progress Report and Country Progress Reports.

Indonesia, SBFN, and IFC jointly hosts a webinar on global good practices of carbon market development

November 4, 2021 | 3 hr 11 mins |
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On November 4, 2021, Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), supported by SBFN and IFC, hosted the webinar “Carbon Market: Global Practices” as part of OJK’s Sustainable Finance International Forum 2021 “Pathway to Zero Carbon Emission-Carbon Trading”.

The webinar focused on how to establish an effective carbon trading market from the perspectives of policy makers and market players, and the challenges that need to be addressed.

Louise Gardiner, SBFN Working Groups and Africa Region Coordinator, shared highlights from SBFN’s recently launched Global Progress Report, which confirm the importance of different types of sustainable finance tools and structures to help accelerate the global response to climate change and other environmental and social challenges.

The Global Report also showcases a variety of advances by OJK in the last two years to promote sustainable finance in Indonesia, which place Indonesia in the “Consolidating” stage of the SBFN Progression Matrix. 

Indonesia has been among the sustainable finance leaders in emerging markets. In 2014, OJK published the Roadmap for Sustainable Finance in Indonesia 2015-2019.

In 2021, with the first roadmap well-executed, OJK issued the Sustainable Finance Roadmap Phase II (2021-2025), continuing to broaden and deepen the development of sustainable finance nation-wide.

As one of the founding members of SBFN in 2012, OJK is a former Co-chair of the SBFN Measurement Working Group and the incoming Co-chair of the SBFN Sustainable Finance Instrument Working Group.


The Key Role of Central Banks and Regulators in Greening the Financial System

August 6, 2020 | 1 hr 29 mins |
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Central banks and regulators are noting the risks and opportunities in green finance and they are taking action.

Entities such as the Central Bank and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System, the Sustainable Banking Network, and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure all reflect interest among central banks and financial sector regulators in strengthening environmental and climate risk management in the financial sector to promote financial stability while mainstreaming finance that supports the transition toward a sustainable economy.

During this featured SBN partner webinar, the distinguished panelists spoke about

i) sustainable finance strategies of their countries,

ii) the importance of developing local standards, such as climate finance taxonomies, to harmonize international approaches, and

iii) the relevance of creating national sustainable finance committees or working groups.

This event is part of the Ctrl + Alt + Delete Green Rebuild Webinar Series, hosted by the IFC-supported Green Banking Academy (GBAC). This on-going learning series facilitates a discussion with central banks and regulators about how they can accelerate efforts to “green” the financial system.

The IFC-GBAC is a knowledge initiative to accelerate the green transformation of banking, strengthening its business, and contributing to a more sustainable world, with a focus on the Latin America region.

Watch more IFC-BGAC webinars here.

Green Finance Supply and Demand Dynamics in Times of COVID

August 4, 2020 | 1 hr 14 mins |
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This featured SBN Member Webinar presented contributions from SBN, Bangladesh Bank (a fellow SBN member), and the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, which incubates green economy entrepreneurs and innovators. The discussion covered how the pandemic was shaping the sustainable finance agenda, and the “COVID Kairos” moment in emerging markets, offering high-value opportunities to rebuild greener economies.

The session was moderated by Nuru Mugambi, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Director of Public Affairs, who has led the KBA Sustainable Finance Initiative since 2012.

This event was part of the KBA’s weekly COVID-19 Insights Webinar Series.

The program commenced in April 2020 and covers how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted banks and the economy.

The goal of the sessions is to inform and build the capacity to navigate the COVID environment amongst the KBA member banks, spanning 45 banks and microfinance institutions.


Asif Iqbal, Joint Director, Bank of Bangladesh

Edward Mungai, CEO, Kenya Climate Innovation Centre

Louise Gardiner, Coordinator of SBN African region & Green Bond Working Group

Nuru Mugambi, Director, Kenya Bankers Association


Creating national enabling frameworks for sustainable finance – Trends from SBN countries, by Louise Gardiner

Kenya Climate Innovation Center and its programs, by Edward Mungai

Event highlights:

Ms. Gardiner shared initiatives and insights from many of SBN’s member institutions in emerging markets – both central banks and banking associations – that were targeting green, social, and sustainability-focused finance strategies and instruments to respond to the pandemic and rebuild resilience.

She also included highlights from SBN’s latest report on innovation and the business case for sustainable finance in low-income countries: Necessary Ambition: How Low-Income Countries Are Adopting Sustainable Finance to Address Poverty, Climate Change, and Other Urgent Challenges.

Mr. Mungai covered trends within the Green Economy in so far as how COVID has disrupted climate change innovators, and at the same time, created new opportunities. His presentation included brief case studies of green economy entrepreneurs and innovators who were disrupting their sectors. KCIC funds, incubates, and provides technical assistance for entrepreneurs and start-ups developing innovative solutions in energy, water, and agribusiness to address climate change challenges. So far, the Center has deployed $195,000 in early-stage finance, which has generated $16,789,730 in revenues and 2,842 jobs across the country. The firms supported by the Center have collectively reduced carbon emissions by 414,920 tons.

Mr. Iqbal shared the Bangladesh experience, providing participants with a regulators’ perspective on why banks needed to keep Green Finance activity going, despite COVID. He touched on the necessity of the “Build Back Better” approach, introduced by Japan in 2015 to the UN General Assembly as a strategy to rebuild nations after natural disasters to create more resilient economies. He also covered the Bangladesh sustainable finance journey and how the regulator viewed the role of social and environmental risk management as a tool to promote financial sector stability.

Green Recovery: Stimulating Post-COVID Economic Competitiveness in South Africa

July 9, 2020 | 1 hr 29 mins |
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In this featured SBN Member Webinar, jointly hosted by the National Treasury of South Africa, IFC, Carbon Trust, and National Business Initiative (NBI), the discussion focused on the process to develop a national green finance taxonomy and its role in supporting the country’s green recovery.

In May 2020, South Africa’s government published “Financing A Sustainable Economy – Technical Paper 2020“, sharing its vision for achieving policy coherence, regulatory guidance, oversight, and capacity building for sustainable finance across all parts of the financial sector. 

The paper recommends the development of a national sustainable finance taxonomy that leverages international developments. For more about South Africa’s national sustainable finance journey over the last several years, see the SBN 2019 Global Progress Report and the South Africa Country Progress Report.

Speakers (bios):

● Sarah McPhail, Director, National Treasury of South Africa

● Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative

● Shameela Ebrahim, Chief Sustainability Officer, Johannesburg Stock Exchange

● Jolly Mokorosi, Independent Retirement Fund Professional, Batsetsa Asset Owners Forum

● Berit Lindholdt-Lauridsen, Senior Climate Finance Specialist, IFC


● Financing a Sustainable Economy Technical Paper

● Developing a South African Green Finance Taxonomy

● The Green Stimulus Opportunity in South Africa

● Global Context for Green Stimulus

Rebuilding Resilience through Sustainable Finance

June 25, 2020 | 1 hr 40 mins |
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Rebuilding Resilience through Sustainable Finance.


In light of the coronavirus pandemic, sustainable finance is more important than ever to help countries rebuild and become more resilient. It is a powerful tool to deepen financial stability and public-private partnerships to address urgent social and environmental priorities. Low-income countries are accustomed to innovating in response to urgent challenges and economic constraints. Despite challenges, low-income countries in the SBN community are at the forefront of the new trend towards sustainable financial markets. This webinar presents exclusive country insights from the SBN report Necessary Ambition: How Low-Income Countries Are Adopting Sustainable Finance to Address Poverty, Climate Change, and Other Urgent Challenges, launched on June 22. The report is the first comprehensive review of drivers and innovation behind market-level efforts to promote sustainable finance in low-income countries. It includes 16 case studies, 8 country reports, and practical decision-making tools based on countries’ various experiences. The webinar featured opening remarks by IFC Vice President, and presentations by four SBN member countries – Bangladesh, Kenya, Mongolia, and Nigeria – about their national journeys to promote a financial sector shift to sustainable finance practices. It also explored how the integration of sustainable finance can contribute to a country’s overall development ambitions.

Speakers (+ bios):

●  Georgina Baker, Vice President of IFC, Chair of SBN Secretariat

●  Batmunkh Batbold, Coordinator of SBN Task Force

●  Nomindari Enkhtur, CEO of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association

●  Asif Iqbal, Joint Director, Bank of Bangladesh

●  Aisha Mahmood, Special Advisor to the Governor on Sustainable Banking, Central Bank of Nigeria

●  Nuru Mugambi, Director, Kenya Bankers Association

●  Louise Gardiner, Coordinator of SBN African region & Green Bond Working Group

Presentation: Rebuilding Resilience through Sustainable Finance

Environmental Information Disclosure by Financial Institutions and Green Bond Issuers.

April 2, 2020 | 2 hr 22 mins |
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Environmental Information Disclosure by Financial Institutions and Green Bond Issuers.

This webinar focuses on disclosure by financial institutions and green bond issuers, and is oranized into two sessions. Speakers from commercial banks, asset managers, MDBs, the academia and international organizations stated that the COVID-19 outbreak have made investors more aware of the importance of green and sustainable development. Iberdrola, the Spanish utilities company, received 11.5 times over-subscription for its most recent issuance of green bonds. Speakers also pointed out during the webinar that the size of responsible investment worldwide has already reached USD30 trillion, and is estimated to grow by 34 percent to reach USD40 trillion by 2021. However, the lack of consistency in disclosing ESG data poses a major barrier to the further growth of responsible investment. Although many countries and international organizations have released guidance on disclosing environment-sensitive information, the inconsistencies of standards and differences in data granularity and quality are hindering the improvement of companies’ ESG performances, the decision making of investors and analyses by research institutions. The webinar was co-hosted by IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), Tsinghua University Green Finance Center and World Bank Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia, supported by UK PACT. Jointly launched by the IFC-supported SBN and Tsinghua University in 2018, the Global Green Finance Leadership Program (GFLP) successfully held five events and covered more than 600 participants from 59 countries and regions around the world, mostly from the emerging economies.   


● Arsalaan Oz Ahmed, CEO HSBC Amanah Malaysia

● Frédéric Samama, Co-Head Institutional Clients Coverage, Amundi

● Tan Ai Chin, Head of Global Investment Banking & Corporate Development, OCBC Bank Malaysia

● GENG Crystal, ESG Expert, Ping An Group


● Environmental Information Disclosure by Financial Institutions_Amundi Frédéric Samama 

● Environmental Information Disclosure by Financial Institutions_HSBC 

● Environmental Information Disclosure by Green Bond Issuers_OCBC 

● ESG & Climate change in Ping An Group 

Trends in Taxonomy Development and Lessons from Emerging Markets.

February 20, 2020 | 1 hr 25 mins |
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Trends in Taxonomy Development and Lessons from Emerging Markets.

Recent years have seen rapid growth green bonds and loans that promise positive environmental impact and a proactive response to climate change. Similar instruments are also emerging that seek social and sustainability impacts in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As investor demand increases for these types of offerings, and as the types of assets broaden, there is greater scrutiny of the definitions that are applied and the reporting by issuers on impacts they have achieved. At global level, a number of leading initiatives have emerged to offer agreed classifications that can underpin sustainable finance products. This taxonomy will influence global issuances that seek to comply with the requirements of European investors. Other global taxonomies and definitions of green bonds include the Climate Bonds Taxonomy by the Climate Bonds Initiative, the International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles eligible projects, and the IFC Definitions for Climate-Related Activities. In emerging markets, a growing number of SBN member countries are issuing either lists of eligible sectors and projects or more comprehensive taxonomies that include technical criteria and monitoring guidance. For example, China issued its first Green Bond Taxonomies in 2015 and went on to contribute to approximately 30% of global green bond issuance in 2016. The most recent country to adopt a national green taxonomy is Mongolia, which has been an active member of SBN since 2012. In December 2019, Mongolia completed an extensive consultation to develop a national taxonomy based on the China experience and other international good practices. This webinar shares latest development insights from key global initiatives, as well as an in-depth discussion of the Mongolia experience in designing a national taxonomy based on international good practice.


● Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI)

● Nomindari Enkhtur, Advisor to the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Initiative (MSFA)

● Oyungerel Munkhbat, Project and Partnership Manager Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association (MSFA)

● Louise Gardiner, Africa and Green Bonds Coordinator, Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), IFC


● Sustainable & Green Taxonomies

● Green Taxonomy: Sharing Mongolia’s Experience

Creating Green Bond Markets in Africa.

February 7, 2019 | 1 hr 30 mins |
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Creating Green Bond Markets in Africa.

Globally, as much as $7 trillion a year in investments will be needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. IFC research has identified US$23 trillion in climate-focused investment opportunities alone for 21 emerging-market countries in that time. Green, social and sustainability bonds are new types of bond instruments that facilitate these investments and can help countries to achieve national sustainable development roadmaps.
With that in mind, in 2018 the IFC-facilitated Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), guided by members and experts from 21 countries and 30 organizations, and in partnership with the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), reviewed regulatory efforts in over 22 emerging markets to promote issuance of green and sustainability bonds. This webinar presents exclusive insights from the report “Creating Green Bond Markets“, the most comprehensive review to date of the green bond trend in emerging markets and offering the first practical Green Bond Market Development Toolkit. It features presentations by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) – report co-authors – and the Morocco Capital Market Authority (AMMC) – co-chair of the SBN Green Bond Working Group – on what these findings mean for African countries. It also explores how African countries can further unlock the shared opportunities in green and inclusive investment across the continent.


● Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).

● Yasser Mounsif, Head of Corporate Finance and Financial Disclosure at the AMMC (Moroccan Capital Market Authority).

● Jennat Benhida, Head of Regulation Unit at the AMMC (Morocco’s Capital Market Authority) and an Associate Professor at the Mohammed V University of Rabat.

● Louise Gardiner, Africa and Green Bonds Coordinator, Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), IFC.


● Findings of mapping research – Green bond market developments in SBN member countries

● Green Bonds in Morocco – The regulator’s experience