The International Seminar on Greening Africa’s Financial System, co-hosted by Tsinghua University and Casablanca Finance City, was held on June 25th-26th in Morocco, Casablanca.
This seminar, as part of the Green Finance Leadership Program (GFLP) launched by Tsinghua University and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in May 2018, was participated with experts from Africa, France, the UK, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan to share knowledge and experience in developing green finance.
Dr. Ma Jun, Director of Research Center for Green Finance Development at Tsinghua University and Chairman of China Green Finance Committee, highlighted four reasons for Africa to develop green finance: “It will mobilize new money for growth in Africa, enable Africa to leapfrog to green infrastructure, create business opportunities for African financial institutions, and protect the financial sector from climate and environmental risks.”
Said Ibrahimi, CEO of Casablanca Finance City Authority, said: “although the opportunities on the continent are tremendous, Africa attracts only 5% of international green finance flows. Nonetheless, the continent has a unique chance to leapfrog thanks to green and sustainable finance. Strengthening partnerships and building capacity via platforms such as the GFLP will be instrumental in scaling up green investment in Africa.”
Abderrahim Bouazza, Director General of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), stated that “as the first NGFS member in Africa, BAM has demonstrated its will to speed up actions to integrate climate issues in the banking system and to promote green finance. The greening of finance in Africa also requires greater collaboration with the academia as well as MDBs.”
Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, mentioned that in the upcoming years 70% of global capex will be in emerging markets and Africa will be a major recipient of green investment.
Participants shared best practices on green banking, green bond market and collaboration, identified barriers to the development of green finance in Africa, and discussed the needs for local green taxonomies, policy incentives, environmental information disclosure, and capacity building.
The experience of ASEAN creating a common set of green bond standards triggered significant interests from the participants. It was argued that such lessons should be learnt by Africa to enhance transparency and reduce regional transaction costs.
This is the 3rd GFLP event since its establishment in May 2019. This 2-day seminar, with a regional focus on Africa, convened more than 150 participants from 24 countries, representing regulators, financial institutions and other key stakeholders from the financial sector.