Empowering African women through social bonds
As Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank is committed to creating a more inclusive society and driving Africa’s sustainable growth. One of the ways we are living up to this commitment is through our sustainable finance offerings, which include a variety of social bonds dedicated to financing mortgage loans focusing on affordable housing for women borrowers.
First issued in August 2021, the value of the bond currently sits at R3.5 billion.
These bonds were issued in line with our environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, as well as our commitment to maximising our positive social, economic and environmental (SEE) impact. Our SEE approach is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with our social bonds in this case specifically supporting a number of key deliverables, including no poverty and gender equality.
Alignment with the UN Development Goals was also one of the drivers behind the creation of the African Women Impact Fund, in partnership with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UN Women, the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, and the African Women Leadership Network.
The fund aims to address the goals of gender equality and economic growth by raising over $10 billion in funding for women fund managers over 10 years, to invest in high-impact businesses and projects throughout Africa.
To support the aims of the Fund, Standard Bank has also established the AWIF Foundation to provide capital, operational support and a structured development programme. Visit the AWIFF webpage to find out more about the initiative and how to go about setting up your own foundation.