As part of programs to mark its 32nd anniversary, Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), in collaboration with its regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, launched the new Green and Sustainable Bond Rules to guide the listing and trading of green and sustainable bonds on the Ghanaian market. This year's anniversary was under the theme "Investing into a Green and Sustainable Future'.
Green Bonds support new or existing projects that generate climate or other environmental benefits that conform to Green Guidelines and Standards. In contrast, Sustainable bonds support new or existing projects that generate both environmental and social benefits that conform to the Sustainability Guidelines.
The first Green Bond was issued in 2007 by the European Investment Bank under the label Climate Awareness Bond. Due to the finance sector's role in efficiently allocating capital, it remains a key channel for economies worldwide to make a real impact. As such, the best way to combat climate change while still making a profit is through the financial market.
In his remarks, the keynote speaker for the event, Mr. Aliou Maiga, IFC's Regional Industry Director for the Financial Institutions Group in Africa said, "I commend Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange for showing leadership in green and sustainability finance. Climate financing is a development imperative and a significant market opportunity. IFC is committed to collaborating with Ghana's stakeholders to facilitate investments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support adaptation to climate change."
Speaking at the event, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission stated, "Investing in green and sustainable future is both well timed and opportune. Sustainability is a broader topic that stands on social human, economic and environmental pillars, none of which can be ignored. It is the most pressing challenge of our time for many business leaders. However, there is evidence of a correlation between the long-term success of a business and sustainability. Investors across the world are demanding opportunities to invest in companies or investments with strong ESG markets."
Delivering his goodwill message at the event, the Senior Financial Markets Specialist at FSD Africa, Victor Nkiiri hinted that "At Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa), we see the development of capital markets to an end, to increase income and job creation, access to basic services and building of sustainable futures. Deep liquid markets are fundamental to economic growth because they help channel longer-term domestic savings of an economy to the most productive use."
In his remarks, the Managing Director of GSE, Ekow Afedzie said, " Green and Sustainable bonds have gained traction globally due to the enormous benefits it brings to the environment and society at large." GSE has been very committed to sustainability initiatives over the past years culminating in our recent admission to the UN Sustainable Exchanges in July. The launch of ESG Disclosure Manual Guidelines in November this year is another testament to our commitment to this sustainability journey. The launching of Green and Sustainable bond rules today is another milestone on our sustainability journey. Listed companies in Ghana can now tap into these fast-growing bond investment products to raise capital to support ESG initiatives.