Patrick Njoroge: An African vision for sustainable finance

Article by Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, 21 January 2020.

Central bank speech  | 
05 February 2020

On September 22, 2019, on the eve of the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit, the UN launched the Principles for Responsible Banking, with 130 banks collectively holding USD 47 trillion in assets or one third of the global banking sector signed up. In these principles, the banks commit to strategically align their business with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and massively scale up their contribution to the achievement of both. It is gratifying to note the strong presence of African banks, including KCB Bank, in the list of founding signatories to implement the principles.

Sustainable finance has gained traction particularly after the global financial crisis in 2007-2008. The crisis was in part fuelled by the short termism of the global financial sector. The short-term drive for profits trumped more long term societal good.