IFC to strengthen ESG practices in Ghana’s private sector
Kyle Kelhofer

IFC to strengthen ESG practices in Ghana’s private sector

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO, has launched a program in Ghana to help the country’s banks and businesses strengthen their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.


The programme is also expected to give them the tools to better address and assess risks and improve their sustainability and long-term performance.

Through the Integrated ESG (IESG) program for Ghana, IFC and the Bank of Ghana will help the country’s banks implement the Ghana’s Sustainable Banking Principles and incorporate them across their operations.

These seven principles, launched in 2019, were designed to help financial institutions respond to risks, increase transparency, and promote sustainability.

Adopting ESG principles means that corporate strategy focuses on the three pillars of the environment, social, and governance.

IFC will also work directly with Ghana’s banks to strengthen their ESG practices, and with select businesses in the manufacturing, services, and other sectors in the country, helping them address environmental, social, and other risks, and capitalize on new growth areas, such as environmentally friendly – or ‘green’ – buildings.

Implementing strong ESG practices is of increasing importance to businesses around the world, which are facing fast-evolving challenges and opportunities, including climate change, social issues, and increased investor scrutiny.

SECO funds IFC’s ESG advisory work, among other initiatives, in Ghana to support financial sector development in the country.

“Strong ESG practices are essential building blocks for sustainable, growing economies, especially today as businesses are beset with a growing number of challenges—and opportunities,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC’s Senior Country Manager for Benin, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo. “IFC’s work with the Bank of Ghana, and with businesses in the country, will help them navigate these challenges by applying globally-recognized ESG strategies.”

“Switzerland is committed to supporting Ghana on its journey towards more sustainability including in its financial sector,” said Simone Haeberli, SECO’s Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation in Ghana. “We are proud to have been part of the development of the Sustainable Banking Principles and look forward to working closely with our Ghanaian partners to deepen the ESG practices within the financial and real sectors.”

The IESG Program builds on two previous partnerships between IFC and SECO in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana, the Chartered Institute of Bankers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Institute of Directors, and others to launch the Sustainable Banking Principles in 2019. All Ghanaian banks have committed to implementing the principles, underscoring their commitment to improved corporate governance.

Since the adoption of the Sustainable Banking Principles, the Ghana Stock Exchange and other institutions in Ghana have also developed or adopted ESG standards.

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