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SIF Africa, the ethical side of finance 1

Ethical finance is growing roots in Africa. The possibility of making this huge continent a hub for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) investments is becoming more real. Even if it is plagued by poverty, famine and wars, Africa could play an important role in promoting a new side to development, improving the quality of life and protecting the environment.

A first step was taken in Johannesburg. A ceremony at the local Stock Exchange inaugurated the African Social Investment forum, SIF Africa. The Johannesburg stock exchange is not new to this field of work, as it recently started requiring firms listed on the stock exchange to publish regular reports on their social and environmental performance.

SIF Africa was inspired by other International SIFs like Eurosif in Europe, Social invest in the US or the Responsible Finance Forum in Italy, and its main aim is to promote CSR investments on the African continent.

It has, however, been a long and arduous journey. In February 2009 the www.africasif.org domain was registered, this is the platform which keeps all of the network’s members linked – members can be organizations or individuals – and which is already full of documents, videos, and numerous web 2.0. tools.

SIF Africa has already launched a blog and an account on Twitter (http://twitter.com/AfricaSIF). In the future, a Facebook page and a YouTube channel will be launched. Among its partners is Responsible-Investor.com, one of the most popular and reliable CSR and social finance websites. According to SIF Africa, the forum will publish a report on CSR and social investment best practices in Africa every two years.

The forum was launched in June to take advantage of global attention on the South Africa World Cup 2010. But it won’t stop there. The aim is to go beyond the African economic community to reach an international stage. Which is why they have organised a road show of events to present the project.

In August, SIF Africa will be launched in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Nairobi, Kenya. In September it will land in Europe, in Geneva, and in October it will be presented in New York. But the main appointment will be held in Africa, in December, with the first conference on responsible investments ever organised on the continent.

For more information about the road show visit SIF Africa website, events section.

By Andrea Di Turi for Afronline.org

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  1. Pierre says:

    This is a very exciting venture. I will be attending the Cape Town launch this evening, September 2. I do believe the name of the organisation is AfricaSIF, but besides the error in the name I found the article extremely informative. Let’s hope that the word spreads quickly!

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