REMARKS BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION AT THE 2ND WORKSHOP UNDER THE IFC/SEC COLLABORATION ON GREEN BONDS GUIDELINES HELD ON 4TH MAY 2021 AT 3.00 PM
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen
I formally welcome all participants to this Workshop organized as part of activities under the IFC/SEC collaboration on the development of guidelines for the issuance and regulation of green bonds in the Ghanaian Market. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), on 24th March 2021, signed a partnership to facilitate investments in projects that address climate and environmental issues through green bonds. Under the agreement, IFC will help the SEC develop guidelines for issuers and investors of green bonds in Ghana
May I also express our gratitude to the team from the IFC – Riccardo, Carine, Doreen, Deo, and all others working behind the scenes – for their dedication to the collaboration and the process thus far.
In the past decade, green bonds have increasingly emerged as a financing solution for environmentally friendly projects. As the timeline for achieving the sustainable development goals draws closer, it has become even more critical for Ghana to participate in this process. The SEC as the apex regulator of the capital market, has as part of its strategic efforts, expansion of the range of investment products available in the Ghanaian market, to both local and international investors. The Commission’s ten-year Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) was built around a vision to develop a deep, efficient, and well-diversified capital market with a full range of products attractive to domestic and international investors. Pillar 1 under the CMMP specifically refers to creating a diversity of investment products and liquidity of securities markets. The development of the framework for the issuance of green bonds is in partial fulfillment of this pillar.
In a recent webinar, FSD Africa shared findings from a feasibility study for green bonds in Ghana. The webinar threw the spotlight on some critical issues and teased out discussion points on which active engagements with key stakeholders must be centered if Ghana is to take advantage of the opportunity an active green bond market presents. Some of the key points were:
- The enabling environment
- Issuers and project pipeline
- Definitions and standards
The IFC has considerable experience in the issuance of green bonds, having launched its Green Bond Program in 2010, which has helped catalyze the market and unlocked investment for private sector projects that support renewable energy and energy efficiency. IFC has issued roughly 170 green bonds in 20 currencies amounting to over $10 billion. I have no doubt, therefore, that this workshop will provide a good knowledge-sharing platform and also serve as support for the building of our own green bond market.
Once again, I extend appreciation to all participants for taking time out of their busy schedules to honour this invitation.
Despite the constraints of virtual meetings, I look forward to an interesting and stimulating session.