TOR: Development of an Africa Gender Bond Toolkit



There has been an increased focus on gender lens investing (GLI) globally and the debt capital markets have substantially contributed to GLI efforts via sustainable bonds and/or sustainability-linked bonds. Gender bonds is a sub-set of thematic bonds that is used to mobilise long term capital for gender empowerment initiatives. Gender bonds uptake started off rather slowly from 2013. Nonetheless, they are gaining momentum with 13 global issuances as of March 2020 according to the Viability of Gender Bonds in SSA: A Landscape Analysis and Feasibility Assessment-a study conducted by FSD Africa in conjunction with UN-Women. Following the conduct of thus study, gender bonds have been slowly gaining momentum on the African continent. In December 2021, Morocco issued Africa’s first gender bond raising about USD 20million through the Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) via a private placement. An issuance in Tanzania followed closely after in February 2022, through NMB Bank Plc (Jasiri Gender Bond) which raised approximately USD 32million. More recently (August 2022), Barloworld Limited, a South African car dealer and supplier of equipment to the mining industry went to market aiming at raising 1billion rand (c. USD61 million), the nation’s first sale of a sustainability-linked bond with gender-diversity targets. The targets are linked to increase in female representation in leadership and increase in discretionary spend on procurement from black women-owned suppliers. To raise awareness and enhance regional demand for gender bonds, there is need to develop an Africa focused Gender Bond Toolkit which is expected to be a contextualized guide to potential public and private sector gender bond issuers and investors. The gender bonds to be covered would include both use of proceeds bonds and sustainability linked bonds for sovereigns and corporate issuers. This is part of a two-year initiative to be implemented in three phases i.e:
  1. Toolkit development and dissemination
  2. Capacity building through deployment of a virtual training module; and
  3. Technical support for two (2) consequent demonstration transactions (gender bond issuances)
This toolkit will be useful to both potential issuers and investors on the continent, providing clear guidance and support for gender bond issuance intended to address the financing gap for African women’s businesses. The intervention will also build awareness about the complexities of ensuring impact, working to deliver demonstration transactions which have real economy value and are not “pink washing” exercises. To facilitate uptake of the toolkit, an online training module will be developed and used during planned dissemination events (in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia). In addition, the launch events and training sessions shall provide a good pipeline development opportunity to identify potential gender bond issuers for transaction support.
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