Panel: Leveraging Finance Options to Accelerate SDG Progress - U.S.-Africa Business Summit 2022

Panel: Leveraging Finance Options to Accelerate SDG Progress
July 20, 2022

 

On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, Corporate Council on Africa hosted the Leveraging Financing Options to Accelerate SDG Progress. Despite the overwhelming consensus and commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, resource mobilization from both public and private sectors has been a challenge. According to the Brookings Institution sub-Saharan Africa will need $574 billion per year until 2030 to finance the SDGs with a financing gap totaling $256 billion per year. Additionally, and importantly, companies have set SDG goals for themselves and are being measured by the market and customers by their ability to meet these goals. In the meantime, Official Development Assistance which has been a key source of much public sector funding has been flat or reducing. This session will focus on innovative financial tools public and private sectors can leverage to reach the SDGs by 2030 including blended finance, bonds, debt, and innovative financing facilities available from public and private sources, as well as multilateral and bilateral sources. It featured a diverse panel of speakers which included Executive Director & Director of Research of Charter Cities Institute Kurtis Lockhart as moderator, Peter Sullivan, head of public sector group for Africa and Managing Director of Citi, Emilio Bunge, Managing Director of Development Finance International, Robin Wheeler, Chief of Party, West Africa Trade Hub and Benjamin Asare, Senior Director, Global Commercial Access Partnerships, Global Private Financing lead of Pfizer.

The program featured moderator Kurtis Lockhart who introduced the speakers and generated questions to the panel to focus the dialogue. Mr, Lockhart asked the panelist, what countries on the continent of Africa has made strides in being able to effectively issue municipal bonds and in their opinion, what are the largest obstacles to Africa deepening its municipal bond market. The questions were answered by the four-panelist starting with Peter Sullivan from Citi. He mentioned that the private sector is working with the sovereign and ministerial agency to offer financing for SDG. Citi has been working with a number of sovereigns around developing sustainability frame works to continue to tap into ESG markets.

General takeaway from the panel is that options for financing are available for African companies who seek the assistance. A question was asked on how American companies compete against China when Chinese institutions have less requirements of African business when financing. Session was very informative for attendee looking at finance options. Many African companies are not too clear on the procedures to obtain funding.