ISLAMIC FINANCE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS PROGRAM

Launched in 2015 by leaders of 191 nations, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are amongst the most ambitious projects humanity has ever attempted “to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.” In emerging markets alone, the UN estimates USD3.9 trillion per year will be required to reach all 17 goals by 2030. At the current rate of investment, the UN has calculated a gap of USD2.5 trillion per year.

Even though the UN, governments, investors, corporations and financial institutions and Civil Society Organizations have committed themselves to achieving the SDGs within the next 10 years, there is no practical way to bridge the gap of $25 trillion. Capital is not flowing at the required speed to the countries where SDG investment matters most. Africa remains the most challenged continent. Yet, it is also one that is booming with innovation, initiatives and impact ventures. Nearly half of the financing required to achieve the SDGs needs to flow to Africa.

As we enter a new decade, it is critical that investors embrace the SDGs at pace and at scale: we have 10 years to deploy the capital and capabilities at our disposal to help build a sustainable future for the planet. There can be no purpose more worthwhile.

Yet, the reality remains that the investment required to meet the targets by 2030 cannot be provided by governments and NGOs alone. The private sector has a critical role to play if we are, collectively, to achieve the SDGs. There is also an increased recognition of the key role that the private sector can play in partnering with governments to support the efficient and timely provision of infrastructure. Also recognized is the importance of such relationships when emphasizing the need to “encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil-society partnerships.”

The challenges of mobilising SDG investment, particularly in African economies, are real. But barriers are coming down and new thinking is helping to channel capital into countries that have previously found it difficult to attract private investment. Innovative forms of finance such as Islamic finance and Sukuk (Islamic bonds) are providing the mechanism for investors and corporates to rise to the challenge.

Given the growth of Islamic finance globally, and the fact that its underlying principles support socially inclusive and development-promoting activities, the Islamic financial sector has been recognised to possess the potential to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, particularly in Africa.

In line with our objectives of reducing poverty, promoting Islamic financial-sector development, and broadening financial inclusion in African countries, the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation has launched a special program, the Sustainable Development Goals Program to support African Governments and private sector entities to  deploy Islamic finance in PPP delivery and capital market frameworks to attract impact Investments and expand Islamic financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project consists of three components:

  1. POLICY: The policy support component supports the development of Islamic finance legal and regulatory frameworks
  2. INVESTMENT FLOWS:This component provides investors and corporations who are serious about their commitment to the SDGs with a map of the potential investment opportunities and facilitates investment inflows across the most tangible, infrastructure-focused goals.
  3. PUBLIC AWARENESS: This component provides technical assistance to devise, develop and execute public awareness campaigns through mass media, seminars, workshops and conferences. The campaign would seek to improve the general public’s understanding of Islamic capital markets and of their role and rights as participants.

CONTACT US

The Program drives organization-wide efforts to develop and leverage relationships with resource and delivery knowledge partners to deliver the organization’s mission. It also, coordinates resource mobilization efforts, and outreach to prospective African countries, as well as partnerships with other international organizations, foundations and private sector.

We therefore, warmly welcome expressions of interest for partnerships as well as invitations for engagements or request for more information about our activities. Please drop us a message at: info@afrief.org.