A new report, produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with ARISE, explores a drive under way across several West and Central African countries to put environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and practices at the heart of their economic transformation plans.
Titled “ESG in Africa,” the ESG intelligence study provides in-depth analysis of the region’s changing industrial landscape, including its expanding special economic zones (SEZs), in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, supported by key data and infographics.
The report tracks the growth strategies taking shape in West and Central African countries, and their increasing alignment with both ESG principles and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Key topics examined include the role that ESG is playing in strengthening value-added economic activities throughout the region’s SEZs.
The study also considers the potential for ESG-inspired policies to help attract sustainability-focused investment for infrastructural development and galvanise international trade growth.
Western Africa’s agricultural activities are a major focal point. In this section, the report highlights the investment opportunities emerging in the industry as part of regional efforts to modernise practices and processes through the introduction of environmentally friendly, tech-led methods.
The importance of introducing programmes and regulatory criteria for maintaining supply chains is also given coverage, with the strides taken by Gabon and Benin to strengthen product lifecycles among the topical issues analysed.
The report charts the contribution made by ARISE, previously known as Gabon Special Economic Zone, to Africa’s economic transformation efforts and, in particular, the region’s push to become a sustainable, international manufacturing hub.
It features an interview with Gagan Gupta, the company’s CEO and Co-Founder, in which he highlights the potential that Africa’s economic development presents for investment and trade expansion.
“Economic and input diversification also represents an opportunity for alignment with ESG principles and the SDGs, as it could mitigate the economic risks resulting from an over-reliance on specific sectors, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and create new job opportunities,” he said.
Gupta also shares his views on ESG-aligned opportunities in Africa’s textile industry, in a wide-ranging video interview he gave recently to OBG’s CEO Andrew Jeffreys, which can be watched here.
Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said the report pointed to a growing recognition among West and Central African countries of the need to make ESG standards a priority when formulating economic development policies and strategies.
“The opportunities for investors to play a part in Africa’s industrial expansion are huge, with waste treatment and renewable energy among the many ESG-aligned segments ripe for growth,” she said. “Looking ahead, we expect the region to remain focused on putting sustainability and inclusivity at the heart of its socioeconomic plans, which will help to boost foreign direct investment, international trade and job creation.”
The ESG report on West and Central Africa’s industrial transformation forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of Future Readiness reports, country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.