SRI reach grows as Africa gets its own pair of indicesNovember 2008
Two SRI indexes have been set up to cover listed companies in Africa. The Africa investor SRI 50 and Africa investor SRI 30 indexes, which are the first pan-African indices of their kind, have been started by Africa Investor (Ai), a UK-based investment research provider.
Ai has followed suggestions from the United Nations and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, which was formed by the Organization of African Unity to develop an ‘integrated socio-economic development framework’ for Africa.
In addition, the African Securities Exchanges Association will promote the indices to companies listed on the 18 stock exchanges in its membership that operate on the continent.
All parties say they hope the indices will attract SRI investment flows into Africa.
Geneva-based fund manager Scipion Capital has already set up a fund based on the Ai SRI 30 Tracker, and there is said to be interest from and sovereign funds and US pension funds.
The creation of the indices is a further sign of widening interest in SRI around the globe. Earlier this autumn the first SRI fund concentrating on central and eastern European equities was established by Limestone Investment Management, which has headquarters in Estonia (EP10, issue 5, p2).
Ai has convened an independent advisory board to assist with regular reviews of constituents. Members of the board include: Neil Eccles, chair in responsible investment at the University of South Africa’s Centre for Corporate Citizenship; Narina Mnatsakanian, project manager at the UN Principles for Responsible Investment; Patrick Moulette, head of the Anti-Corruption Division at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; Will Oulton, the FTSE Group’s head of responsible investment, and Matt Christensen, executive director of the European Social Investment Forum.
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