Benin: Clean water, healthcare system, access to clean energy
The first ever SDG Sustainable Development Goals Bond issue out of Africa
In July 2021, the Republic of Benin launched its inaugural SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Bond offering, a €500m transaction, the first ever SDG bond issue out of Africa and one of the first in the world.
This historical transaction was some three years in the making and enabled the country to achieve a large greenium. Indeed, the groundwork for its SDG bond dates back to 2018, when Benin was one of five emerging market countries chosen to be part of an International Monetary Fund - United Nations pilot programme under the oversight of the United Nations Development Programme to monitor and evaluate the progress and efforts of the government of Benin to achieve the SDGs.
According to Arsène Dansou, head of the Debt Management Office, Republic of Benin, the country has opted for SDG Bonds to support the reforms and investments necessary to ensure that the population has suitable work conditions, an adequate healthcare system, the food and clean water they need but also access to clean energy.
Following the announcement of the transaction on the 12th July 2021, two extensive marketing days were organised, during which the country met over 60 accounts; a testimony of the broad appeal that this milestone transaction sparked in the international investor community.
The bond had a lot of interest, with investors placing orders for twice the amount. That is seen as a good sign for other countries considering issuing Sustainable Bonds. Societe Generale acted as Joint Sustainability Structuring Advisor and Joint Bookrunner on this ground-breaking transaction.
This is for our bank the third consecutive mandate by Benin, having led the inaugural Eurobond issue in 2019 and a comprehensive liability management exercise in January 2021. We are proud to be part of this historical transaction, that fully contributes to the three strategic CSR business orientations of the Group: climate change, social innovation, and sustainable development in Africa.
The Group is supporting the continent, with a history between them going back for over a century, in a fair, environmentally friendly and inclusive transition.