Biggest funders of Africa’s R27 trillion green revolution

Standard Bank is the largest player in Africa’s transition away from fossil fuels, arranging R5.7 billion ($297 million) worth of sustainable financing deals in the first six months of 2023, 15% of the total value of deals. 

The South African-based bank beat out international competitors such as UK-based Standard Chartered, Bank of China, Barclays, and Bank of America. 

This was revealed by Dealogic, a financial markets platform offering integrated content, analytics, and technology via a service to financial firms. 

Standard Bank South Africa CEO Lungisa Fuzile presented this as evidence of the strong move the company is making towards capturing a significant share of the value created by the continent’s energy transition. 

Standard Bank’s financing of renewable projects has risen with demand to over four times greater than the bank’s funding of non-renewable energy projects. 

Fuzile said the bank estimates the total financing needed for the energy transition in Africa to be $1.4 trillion (R27 trillion) by the end of the decade. 

He was also clear that funding the renewable transition will be coupled with providing energy security to Africans, with 600 million people on the continent not having access to a consistent electricity supply.

Standard Bank aims to be the go-to financial services provider for this transition in Africa by leveraging its presence across 20 African countries and the bank with the largest balance sheet on the continent. 

However, it faces stiff competition from fellow South African banks such as Nedbank and Absa and global players such as Standard Chartered and Barclays. 

Standard Chartered arranged R4.7 billion ($247 million) worth of sustainable financing deals in the year’s first six months. 

Nedbank, the next South African bank on the list, arranged just over R2 billion ($105 million) worth of deals. 

In 2022 and 2023, Standard Bank mobilised R83 billion in sustainable finance solutions with the aim of reaching a cumulative total of R300 billion by 2026. 

Most projects Standard Bank has financed are in South Africa, with the bank starting to see demand pick up in Namibia, Kenya, and Nigeria. 

In South Africa, the mining sector is the major player in building large renewable projects to mitigate the effects of load-shedding and diversify their energy streams away from fossil fuels.

Below is a table with the top ten funders of Africa’s sustainability transition in H1 2023. 

Sub-Saharan Africa Mandated Lead Arranger Sustainable Financial League Table H1 2023. Source: Dealogic