Originally published in TimesLIVE.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the world’s youngest, fastest-growing regions — home to more than a billion people, half of whom will be under 25 by 2050. But to enable transformation and boost shared prosperity, Africa needs investment, and to unlock capital on a large scale, better corporate disclosure practices are needed — including banks disclosing the impact of their financing.
While regulatory frameworks catch up, non-financial disclosure must be seen not as a burden and compliance risk but an opportunity to attract funding and capital and, importantly, to take control of the narrativeSandra Villars, Senior Advisor
That’s because most investors are becoming subject to similar demands and will simply not release capital without such disclosures in the future, and because the entire stakeholder landscape of the next generation — from customers to regulators to employees — is shifting firmly in favour of institutions that are seen to positively affect people and the planet.
According to UN estimates, Africa needs an incredible $7 trillion (R131-trillion) a year to achieve its sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, and $6 trillion (R112-trillion) of this relies on the private sector — and banks and financial institutions are obviously a crucial part of this process.