Gender Bonds Toolkit for Africa

The document highlights the ongoing challenge of achieving gender equality, noting that if current trends persist, over 340 million women and girls will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues for the need for innovative financing solutions to promote the economic empowerment of women and girls and to close gender gaps in various sectors. Gender bonds are presented as a promising tool for financing projects aimed at reducing gender inequalities and supporting women’s empowerment, similar to other sustainable bonds like Green or Social bonds. These bonds enable both corporate and sovereign issuers to focus capital on gender equality goals and improve transparency and accountability in spending, while attracting investors interested in gender-lens investing. The document notes that although the issuance of Gender bonds has been increasing globally, African markets have seen the lowest rates of issuance. However, there has been recent progress with Gender bonds being issued for the first time in countries like Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania. Given the nascent state of Gender bonds and the growth of African capital markets, there is a need for clear guidance for issuers. The document introduces a Gender Bond Toolkit aimed at providing this guidance and encouraging more Gender bond issuances in Africa to mobilize capital for addressing gender inequities and promoting economic growth.