The African Association of DFIs, in collaboration with the FICS' Coalition for Social Investment, held an online webinar on "Social investment as a key leverage for inclusive growth in Africa" on June 22, 2022.
Recent and ongoing crises call for a change of perspective to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, enhance social cohesion, and increase people' resilience to future shocks. In response, social investments can play a structural role in reviving and strengthening the resilience of our economies, preventing and mitigating the social consequences of crises on our societies, fighting against climate change and mitigating its impacts, contributing to security (health, food, social...), creating co-benefits for people and the planet and thus contributing to a fair and sustainable economic recovery.
The event introduced the notion of social investment, which provides both social and monetary returns due to positive externalities. What we call a social investment is financing programs covering a variety of interlinked issues and sectors, including education, childcare and vocational training; health, care and ageing; social protection; housing; access to basic infrastructure (such as electricity, transportation or Water Sanitation and Hygiene); decent work; social inclusion; as well as agriculture and sustainable food systems.
It also served to present the objectives and activities of the Coalition for Social Investment, a Finance in Common initiative, which works to increase the knowledge, advocacy and actions with a view to increasing the quality and volume of social investment globally. Sponsored by the WHO, the ILO and the UNDP, the aim was to raise awareness for a better understanding of social investments as an essential factor in achieving the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.
Finally, the event also provided concrete examples of Public Development Banks' interventions in advancing social investment, with focus on activities implemented by AFD to support health and pandemic preparedness, and by DBSA to promote a just energy transition in South Africa.