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The increased frequency and costs of climate change impacts in Africa are predicted to result
in extreme losses to agriculture production, livestock, water supply, and human health.
These, if not abetted, can in time lead to, or exacerbate existing, social, economic and
national security issues. Meeting these challenges will require the continent to take advantage of a diverse range of ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ capital raising tools and sources of funding to raise funds for sectors such as sustainable agriculture, green resilient infrastructure for transport, water, and waste
management, with the goal of promoting sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, reducing inequalities, creating greater opportunities for all and promoting sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.
Green, Social, Gender, Sustainability, Sustainability-Linked and other sustainability-themed bonds (hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘Sustainable Bonds’) are one tool that can offer the African capital markets an opportunity to leverage private capital at scale towards building more climate-resilient and sustainable economies. This Guide is aimed at the capital market institutions, mainly the Exchanges but also other market players, with the objective to provide guidance on the steps towards establishing
Sustainable Bond market regulatory frameworks in the SADC region in line with international best
practices and standards. The development of this Guide was sponsored and led by Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) in collaboration with the Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges (CoSSE) with the participation of other key SADC institutions and stakeholders.
In drafting the Guide, a high-level market scoping was done with the aim of ensuring that the Guide is harmonised with other Green, Social and Sustainability Bond Guidelines in the region, see further in Annex 1.
For Immediate Release, 29th March 2022: The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is pleased to announce the re-election of BSE CEO Mr. Thapelo Tsheole as the Chairperson of the Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges (CoSSE) with immediate effect. Mr. John Kamanga, CEO of Malawi Stock Exchange, has also been re-elected as Deputy Chairperson of CoSSE. The re-election took place at the 60th virtual CoSSE meeting held today.
Mr. Tsheole’s re-election is the second one since his initial election as the Chairperson of CoSSE in 2018, where he took over from Ms. Zeona Jacobs of the Johannesburg Stock Exchanges (JSE). His term will run until March 2024.
CoSSE was formed in 1997 to improve the operational, regulatory and technical underpinnings and capabilities of SADC Exchanges to make their securities markets more attractive to regional and international investors. The Committee also aims to increase market liquidity, enhance trading in various securities and financial instruments, and encourage a harmonised securities market environment within the SADC region. Currently, the Committee comprises 14 stock exchanges from 13 countries.
Commenting on the re-election, the BSE CEO, Mr. Thapelo Tsheole, said, “I am honoured by the consistent support from my colleagues and the confidence they have bestowed upon me to continue to serve this exceptional Committee for another two years. CoSSE is making great strides in multiple strategic initiatives, which would not be possible without the concerted efforts and commitment of SADC Exchanges to foster the advancement of the regional markets to greater heights.”
Some of the notable achievements during Mr. Tsheole’s tenure include the launch of the SADC Green Bond Programme designed to accelerate the take-up of Green Bonds as a tool for SADC member countries to tap into domestic and international investors to finance green projects and assets. Additionally, CoSSE, under Mr. Tsheole’s leadership, has a significant role to play in the projects that aim to foster regional financial integration and macroeconomic convergence in SADC.
For more information, contact;
Market Development Department
Africa is under pressure to develop its green finance market for two crucial reasons. The first is to significantly and sustainably respond to climate change, as the continent is vulnerable to the severe effects of climate change. Secondly, African private and public sectors lag behind other emerging markets in green (and sustainability) bond issuances. The SADC Green Bond Programme serves to address the aforementioned challenges in general, and in particular, the embryonic status of the green finance market in the SADC region.
Since its official launch in March 2021, the Programme has made commendable headway in implementing its core strategic objective of developing the green bond market in SADC – which is demonstrated by the publishing of this SADC Green Finance Demand Study. Considering that the development of the capital market ecosystem depends on timely empirical information, the importance of this study cannot be overstated. Not only does it bridge the existing knowledge gap regarding green investment opportunities and barriers in the SADC region, but it is also underpinned by one of CoSSE’s mandates, which is to encourage the transfer of securities markets’ intellectual capital and technical expertise among member Exchanges of CoSSE.
On 20th January 2022, the Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges (CoSSE) and FSD Africa facilitated a virtual demand study workshop together with consultants from Rebel Group and Clima Capital Partners – a significant initiative made possible through the SADC Green Bond Programme, kickstarted in February 2021.
Over 70 professionals from the SADC region capital market ecosystem were present, with representation from institutions such as Stock Exchanges, Central Banks, Regulators and Development Finance Networks. The purpose of this workshop was to present salient findings of the demand study, and advance discussions around Green Bond opportunities in the region, the barriers that hinder their uptake, and recommendations to overcome these.
Some of the findings presented on the SADC Green Bond Market Study indicated that the market has grown exponentially, by at least 15% in 2021, while the African market contributes only 0.4% to this global market base. The SADC Green Bond markets have been subdued. There have been 20 green bond issuances amounting to USD 3,559 million following the first issuance in 2012. The statistics from the study showed that over the period 2012-2021: 12 issuances were by banks (42%); 5 issuances were sovereign (30%); 3 issuances were corporate (28%); and of the 20 green bond issuances, 16 were issued in South Africa (USD 3,186 million, 90% of total), illustrating the dominant role of the country within the region. 7 have been issued in the last three years (USD 2,146 million, 60% of total) in line with the global trend of green bond market growth.
Other market insights indicated that the SADC investor base is limited except for South Africa, thus there is a need to access international capital markets as an alternative. An example of this is the Seychelles Blue Bond bought by international impact investors. International capital market access to frontier market borrowers has broadened significantly in the past decade; today, even single B-rated sovereigns enjoy market access, including relatively small low-income countries from sub-Saharan Africa.
Equally, there are investment opportunities for the regional pension funds, especially in Botswana, Namibia, eSwatini and Tanzania. However, the inadequate enabling environment (regulatory & capital market barriers) limit uptake.
From the issuers’ perspective, the positive outcomes of the study reveal that: banks are a prime candidate group for green bond issuance in the SADC. There may be an acceleration of a paradigm shift among corporates as the global regulatory standards on corporate disclosure requirements increasingly integrate ESG information. Sovereigns with outstanding international bonds could explore if a portion of their remaining international bonds may be re-financed with green bonds as a part of their broader debt management strategies. Workshop participants also discussed barriers to green bond uptake in SADC.
A common hindrance in this region appears to be the lack of expertise in identifying and developing bankable projects to be financed by green bonds. Secondly, most potential issuers in the SADC region (excl. SA) are unfamiliar with the specific internal and external processes required in raising a green bond.
The low demonstration of financial benefits of issuing green bonds poses a barrier for issuances, which can be circumvented through long-term strategic thinking, as in the case of the Bank of Windhoek. The Bank did not see any financial advantage to their green bond issue in 2018 but used the issuance as a strategy to position the Bank in a future key market. Other barriers discussed are the perceptions of higher transaction costs, the small size of issuance, rigid taxonomies, and minimal technical expertise at regulatory agencies and stock exchanges.
Key recommendations discussed in light of the findings included the following: Strengthen regulators’ and stock exchanges’ expertise on climate finance; Establish national champions for designing and implementing market development measures for the enhanced deployment of green bonds; Incentivize the potential issuers, especially banks, to develop portfolios of eligible and bankable projects for green bonds; Use demonstration effects to promote green bonds; Promote the supporting instruments for climate market development in SADC countries – e.g., regulatory requirements, subsidization, intrinsic motivation, and project identification.
The SADC Green Finance Demand Study will be available publicly on the CoSSE website during the first quarter of 2022. We trust that it will provide compelling insights on the trajectory of the SADC Green Bond Market for market practitioners across the SADC region – and serve as an instrumental tool in the development thereof.
Nairobi: November 2, 2021
FSD Africa welcomes the Africa Green Finance Coalition, launched at the COP26 World Leaders Summit with the aim of closing the continent’s green finance gap through financial sector reforms, technical assistance, and peer learning.
FSD Africa welcomes the announcement at the COP26 World Leaders Summit that African nations will come together to create the Africa Green Finance Coalition (AGFC).
The AGFC brings together all the countries of Africa to pool resources, share learning and create a pathway for increased flows of green investment capital to the continent. It will facilitate learning and technical assistance across countries, while a peer review mechanism will hold members to account for their commitments to the necessary reforms.