ACCA urges governments to lead in sustainable development, ESG compliance


Governments hold a central role in steering their nations toward sustainable development and ensuring compliance with globally accepted environmental and social standards.

This is according to the Director for sub-Saharan Africa at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Jamil Ampomah, who argues that public policies, regulations and incentives can be powerful tools in shaping corporate behaviour and promoting environmentally and socially responsible practices.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Sustainability In Ghana Programme jointly organised by the ACCA and Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG), he said: “Governments have a unique opportunity to lead by example and set the tone for sustainable practices within their respective countries.

“By implementing robust regulatory frameworks and providing clear guidance on sustainability reporting and disclosure, governments can inspire businesses to integrate responsible practices in their core strategies,” he continued.

Mr. Ampomah charged state actors to “lead by example” in their own operations and policymaking. By integrating sustainability considerations into public procurement, infrastructure development and energy consumption, governments can demonstrate their commitment to a greener future.

“With the global climate crisis at the forefront, governments cannot afford to remain passive observers. They must act decisively, ensuring sustainability remains a key priority in every aspect of governance. Only through collective action and shared responsibility can we create a sustainable and prosperous continent for generations to come,” the Director noted.

“Financial transparency and accountability go hand in hand with sustainability. Governments can play a crucial role in promoting such practices by encouraging businesses to adopt standardised ESG reporting frameworks and incentivising responsible financial behaviour,” he further stated.

PPP collaboration

The ACCA Africa Director however pointed out that the call did not exclude the private sector; instead, it advocated for a stronger partnership between government and the private sector.

Highlighting the significance of collaboration between governments, businesses, civil society and international organisations, he said when different stakeholders come together they can leverage their strengths, resources and expertise to address sustainability challenges more effectively.

“The journey toward sustainability requires a collective effort. Governments can collaborate with the private sector to create an enabling environment that fosters innovation, encourages investment in green technologies, and supports socially responsible business practices,” he explained while commending institutions such as the Bank of Ghana and Ghana Stock Exchange for their efforts in this regard.

The former introduced the Corporate Governance Directive and Ghana Sustainable Banking Principles between 2018 and 2019.

Since then, all 23 universal banks in the country have taken steps to accelerate their ESG-compliance journey. As of September 2022, all the banks had completed and submitted a template developed by the regulator in addition to its Sustainable Banking Principles and Sector Guidance Notes – with a 53 percent reporting compliance level attained.

Also, the Ghana Stock Exchange in November 2022 launched a guidance manual for disclosures on ESG reporting for listed companies. This is in addition to rules and the listing of green bonds, even as sustainable instruments are expected to see a rally this year.

ESG-facing portfolios are projected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9 percent by 2026 – rising from US$18.4trillion in 2021 to US$33.9trillion in that time. There is little surprise that interest is growing locally.

Leave a Reply