21-22 May 2008 | Lagos, Nigeria

There is a growing view that banks, insurers, asset managers and other financial sector participants have a pivotal role to play in ensuring sustainable and long term economic growth. Attention is increasingly being paid to the manner in which the financial sector provides and manages capital, whether impacts on sustainable development are considered and if contributions to society and environment are made. In addition the linkages between environment, social and governance issues and financial value are increasingly apparent. In Africa this is especially true for issues such as climate change and poverty which present risks to society and economy and require urgent response. On the opportunity side microfinance and provision of sustainable financial services to the poor offer African financial institutions new horizons for growth. “Sustainable Finance” has become the all-encompassing term used to describe the manner in which the financial sector responds to the opportunities and challenges of these issues. While the task is complex, leading financial institutions are beginning to respond by developing strategies, related products and expertise. Nevertheless there is often a general lack of clarity on business cases and reasons for sustainable finance as well as confusion as to how this relates to mainstream financial operations. To provide clarity to this area the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) African Task Force (ATF), a public private partnership between UNEP and the finance sector, has convened a high level group of experts to discuss sustainable finance in Africa. The event, kindly supported by Citi, welcomed over 90 financial sector, government and NGO delegates from Nigeria and the West African region. Roundtable discussions focused on concepts of sustainable finance and enabled delegates to deepen an understanding of responses the finance sector can take. It is hoped discussions will provide a fruitful platform from which financial institutions in West Africa can embrace their role in sustainable development. The workshop was organized in collaboration with and support from:

  • Citigroup – Nigeria (co-host and main sponsor)
  • Oceanic Bank (partner sponsor)
  • Bank of Industry (partner sponsor)



Session Summaries

Day 1 – Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Day 2 – Thursday, 22 May 2008

Special Thanks
The African Task Force would like to extend their special thanks to the Lagos Team: Elena Belletti, Cristina Gueco, Kiki Lawal and Hélène Martinez for their intellectual support, invaluable time and superb coordinating efforts.