Nairobi, Kenya / Johannesburg, South Africa – 8 September 2022: The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), a Pan-African network of social investors collaborating to mobilise and deploy capital for impact and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its Africa Sustainable Finance Hub (ASFH) and the flagship initiative SDG Impact, have partnered to promote sustainable finance in Africa. The collaboration will support the African private sector to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is felt hard in Africa: the continent’s GDP has declined by 2.1% per capita leading to the worst recession in 50 years. 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 - $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.
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% of the USD 100 trillion of assets held globally by institutional investors towards sustainable activities in developing countries would be sufficient to fill the USD 3.7 trillion annual global SDG financing gap.
“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,” said Dr Frank Aswani, CEO of AVPA.
Dr Ayodele Odusola, Manager of the UNDP Africa Sustainable Finance Hub and Resident Representative for UNDP South Africa, added: “UNDP’s SDG Impact Standards are a ‘best practice’ guide 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”.
AVPA and UNDP will also 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. The UNDP’s SDG Investor Maps is a market intelligence tool which aims to direct capital to the emerging markets where SDG priorities, government policy and market opportunity converge. The SDG Investor Maps are housed digitally on the SDG Investor Platform, and also serve as the foundation to engage policymakers to support an enabling environment for SDG Investment across Africa.
The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) is a Pan-African network that seeks to drive a transformative social investing agenda in the continent. AVPA leverages the experience and momentum gained by its global sister networks - the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), Latimpacto and the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) – with a collective membership of over 900 members in more than 50 countries and are proven catalysts for mobilizing capital and helping members to deploy it more effectively to drive positive change. AVPA facilitates the flow of human, intellectual, and financial capital, not only within Africa but also from the vast network of members across the 50+ countries outside of Africa seeking to invest on the continent. AVPA seeks to support the sector through several key service lines offered to its members.
UNDP is a United Nations lead agency on international development and works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work concentrates on three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peacebuilding, and climate and disaster resilience. The UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub (SFH) was launched in April 2019 and aggregates the organisation’s existing work and expertise in financing the SDGs. It provides a comprehensive package of methods and tools in support of UNDP’s SDG integration offer to enable governments, the private sector and international financial institutions to accelerate financing for the SDGs, including through the SDG Impact flagship initiative working to accelerate private sector contributions towards sustainability and the achievement of the SDGs and a dedicated hub for Africa located in Pretoria, South Africa.
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