As African countries grapple with severely constrained budgets and difficult economic conditions, securing resources to meet the SDGs is becoming increasingly challenging. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 countries will experience a budget shortfall due to the pandemic, and they will be met with equal pressure to create jobs and provide reliable government services.
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 is providing the mechanism for investors and corporates to rise to the challenge.
With assets totaling about $2.5 trillion and forecast to reach $3.5 trillion by 2024. Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial industry. Furthermore, the support of its underlying principles for environment, sustainability, Governance (ESG) and wholesomeness (tayyiban), strongly demonstrate the strong correlations between the SDGs and the underlying Shari’ah principles of Islamic finance.
From our perspectives as an Islamic Economic organization, we have therefore aligned ourselves with the objectives of the SDGs and hope to provide a sustainable framework for addressing these challenges, with the objective of originating practical and compelling financial solutions with measurable social and environmental impact,through engagements focused on projects related to 12 of the 17 (SDGs), being eradication of poverty and greater food security, healthier lives, inclusive and equitable education, sustainable management of water, access to affordable and clean energy, fostering economic growth, sustainable industrialization, cities and communities, responsible consumption, dealing with climate and environmental degradation,development of partnerships across Africa.
The framework thus provides African Governments and SMEs a unique opportunity to present and highlight their projects and businesses to a broader audience, to generate awareness, extend outreach, attract expert advisory services and mentorship, and to raise capital.