African FIs Unite to Conserve Nature

Some of Africa’s most prominent financial institutions (FIs) have rallied behind an initiative to safeguard and rejuvenate nature, addressing a biodiversity crisis threatening the wellbeing and livelihoods of millions across the continent. The Nature Voices Pledge is being unveiled at the Africa Climate Summit 2023 by the African Natural Capital Alliance (ANCA), a collaborative organisation with a collective asset pool of US$390 billion. Its members include Standard Chartered, KCB, Equity Bank, Ecobank, Access Bank, DBSA, Zanaco, FirstRand, Investec, Sanlam, Old Mutual, CalBank, ICEA Lion, and Fidelity Shield. The pledge commits ANCA’s membership, which also encompasses governmental bodies such as the Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) and civil society organisations like the African Wildlife Foundation, to actively support nature conservation and restoration efforts. Further, it urges members to incorporate nature into their decision-making processes and advocate for sustainable financing solutions. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates the annual loss of natural capital in Africa to be US$195 billion. Dorothy Maseke, Head of ANCA Secretariat and Lead of Nature Finance at FSD Africa, said: “This landmark pledge signifies that the members of ANCA are determined to play our part by putting nature at the heart of decision-making, so we reflect its true value and drive investment into activities which conserve and enhance nature rather than destructive activities for short term gain.” Africa also saw the launch of the Pan-African Fund Managers’ Association (PAFMA), a new trade association bringing together fund managers from across the continent with backing from some of the industry’s most powerful players. The five founding members of PAFMA are the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PENOP); the Fund Managers Association (FMA) in Kenya; the Botswana Investment Professionals Society (BIPS); the Ghana Securities Industry Association (GSIA) and the Investment Management Association of Uganda (IMAU). These national associations, which between them account for AuM of over US$70 billion, have established PAFMA in collaboration with FSD Africa, a specialist development agency working to build and strengthen financial markets across Sub-Saharan Africa. PAFMA aims to foster the adoption of alternative investments, with a particular focus on green finance. 

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