The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has partnered with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative in order to promote sustainable development, and ensure responsible business practices in the stock market.
This means GSE joins a network of 116 stock exchanges and 13 derivatives exchanges around the world that are committed to a common objective of fostering financial markets that support the growth of sustainable and responsible practices.
The SSE works with exchanges through technical assistance, consensus building, and research to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to stimulate investment for a sustainable future.
According to SSE, GSE becoming a partner exchange of the initiative solidifies its commitment to transparency and sustainability.
Commenting on the stride, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Ekow Afedzie, stated that being part of the initiative further reinforces his outfit’s commitment to ensuring standards on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting in line with best global practices.
“Joining the UN Sustainable Social Exchange initiative could not have come at a better time when there is a global trend toward sustainability-themed products by most exchanges across the world to support Environmental, Social, and Governance Initiatives (ESG).
“Being part of this initiative further reinforces our commitment to ESG following the recent approval of green bond and sustainability-themed product rules in the Ghanaian capital market,” he said.
Prior to joining the SSE, Deputy Managing Director, Abena Amoah, indicated that introducing ESG standards is expected to significantly expand the breadth, specificity and rigour of corporate transparency, and encourage sustainable investment.
She added that a significant number of firms have already begun reporting on ESG-related issues, and expressed optimism that a formal framework would only serve to standardise and deepen the practice.
GSE has emerged as a major provider of investment capital inflow in Ghana, operating in the equity market which is the main market, the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM) which is the bonds market, and thirdly the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) which is the market for small and medium businesses.
PwC’s 2021 Global Investor ESG Survey – which engaged 325 investment professionals from 43 territories with more than a combined US$11.6trillion assets under management – showed that ESG factors now increasingly drive investment strategies, describing it as a “make-or-break consideration for leading investors globally” as half of the investors surveyed expressed a willingness to divest from companies that are not taking sufficient steps to address ESG issues.