The Africa and Middle East Working Group of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative includes 27 financial institutions that are signatories of the UNEP Statement of Commitment on Sustainable Development and/or the Principles of Sustainable Insurance (PSI).

The group works with regional and local members and partners in Africa and the Middle East, and the subsidiaries of international organisations, to disseminate and communicate UNEP FI’s work, and contribute to delivering global projects such as tools and research to support sustainability in the financial sector.

The group works with local partners to deliver awareness raising and capacity building events around social and environmental risks and opportunities for financial institutions to help drive sustainable development in the real economy.

Further activities in the region include: network-building in order to facilitate sharing of information and best practice between financial institutions; engagement with relevant stakeholders in the sustainable finance space in the region; providing access to UNEP FI industry and thematic outputs; workshops and online training courses.

UNEP FI engages with stakeholders that are relevant to sustainable finance in the region, including regulators, in particular central banks; banking associations; local sustainability networks and policy makers.

The Africa and Middle East Working Group was the first regional group within UNEP FI to be set up following the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development that took place in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Training, professional development and knowledge management

UNEP FI has a range of training offerings, both online and in workshop format, covering several themes. For further information on each of these services, please visit the Sustainable Finance Training section.

Insight, news and tools to help financial institutions based in the Arab region build resilience to climate change is available on the new knowledge platform: Financing the Climate Transition in the MENA.


Report on Promoting Sustainable Finance and Climate Finance in the Arab Region

This report investigates the most prevalent sustainable finance practices in six countries in the Arab region: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Also, this report assesses the status of climate finance in four countries in the Arab region: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Tunisia. It provides a SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats associated with the readiness of the Arab financial system to support the transition to greener economies, and concludes with policy recommendations and closing remarks on scaling up sustainable and climate finance in the Arab region.

High-level regional meeting with Arab Central Bank Governors and Banking Executive Managers

On Thursday 24 June 2021, senior-level participants comprising Central Bank deputy Governors and Banks’ Executive Management from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia met virtually to initiate a dialogue to address the finance sector’s role in supporting the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and resilient economy. The outcomes of this roundtable are the creation of a Sustainable Finance Platform to provide guidance and support to banks in the region and plans to develop a capacity-building platform supported by international partners. Kindly read the meeting report here.


Financial institutions based in Africa and the Middle East which are UNEP FI Signatories

Supporting institutions


Regional Coordinators
Middle East & North Africa (MENA)
Nuran Ashraf Atef

Sub-Sahara Africa
Reuben Muhindi Wambui

8 July 2021

UNEP FI Regional Roundtable Africa and Middle East 2021: Highlights

The UNEP FI Regional Roundtable for Africa and Middle East was held virtually on 22 and 23 June 2021, and welcomed 400+ participants and 30+ speakers to help define the role of banking, insurance and investment in shaping ambitious responsible strategies to proactively address the challenges and opportunities of a green recovery, whilst transitioning to…

20 January 2021

New report sheds light on sustainable financing in Arab region and provides policy recommendations

A new report provides the first in-depth analysis of  sustainable finance practices in a part of the world most vulnerable to the effects of climate change: the Arab region. Issues such as water scarcity, rising sea levels, drought, land degradation and desertification will have serious repercussions for food, energy and water security in this area. Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals – in particular those that help deal with the interlinked water-energy-food challenges – will be key to build resilient, fairer economies.

11 April 2019

UNEP FI Regional Roundtable Africa and Middle East 2019: Highlights

UNEP FI’s first Regional Roundtable on Sustainable Finance for 2019 took place in Cairo this week with more than 220 delegates and speakers. We opened with a first, holding an event that brought together insurers from all over MENA – the Principles for Sustainable Insurance Market Event for Egypt. Hosted by the Financial Regulatory Authority…

20 June 2018

Arab African International Bank (AAIB) in Egypt joins UNEP FI

The AAIB joined UNEP FI in April this year becoming the second member from Egypt to join our global sustainable finance network. For many years, the bank has been active in embedding sustainability practices in their business and in the industry. Hassan Abdalla, CEO of AAIB said in a statement that “The UNEP FI is bound…

18 June 2018

Blog: A path to sustainable cocoa and forest restoration in Côte d’Ivoire

    Part of UNEP FI’s work in ecosystems management includes creating investable models for investors, as well as providing knowledge, and imparting insight for private finance to contribute to sustainable land use projects. Côte d’Ivoire has the fastest rate of deforestation in the world, much of which is caused by the cultivation of cocoa, a commodity that is a big contributor to the economy. Thomas Yapo, UNEP FI’s Economics and Finance Consultant for Africa writes about…

5 April 2018

Green Finance Study to take place in Ghana

In line with one of the proposed Ghana Banking principles of promoting customers to integrate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) in their business, UNEP FI through colleagues at the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is undertaking a study to assess the level of integration of sustainability in the business sector’s operations, value chains and…

12 September 2017

Tawreeq Holdings endorses the Positive Impact Manifesto and the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

  UNEP FI is pleased to welcome the 23rd financial institution to join the Positive Impact Initiative. Tawreeq Holdings Limited, with subsidiaries in the UAE and Luxembourg, specializes in comprehensive Supply Chain Finance (SCF) solutions for Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and their corporate clients across the MENA region. These solutions are made available through…

6 July 2017 | Casablanca, Morocco

Positive Impact Initiative African Launch

UNEP FI and Casablanca Finance City are pleased to anounce the regional launch of the Positive Impact initiative and the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, held in Casablanca on July 6th 2017.

3 March 2017

UNEP FI and Ecobanking Project Deliver ESRA Training to Financial Institutions in Zambia

UNEP FI and Ecobanking Project partnered with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (AGF) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) to deliver a series of Environmental and Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) training sessions designed for financial institutions in Zambia. The training sessions – which focus on environmental and…

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22 February 2022 | Webinar

Climate-aligned investing in Africa: risk management & portfolio alignment

This event is the first in a series on Climate-aligned investing in Africa run by UNEP FI. A first step towards adaptation to future climate change is reducing vulnerability and exposure to present climate variability. Significant co-benefits, synergies and trade-offs exist between mitigation and adaptation and among different adaptation responses across sectors.

27-28 July 2021 | Virtual capacity building workshop

Fintech for Sustainable Development

The Fintech for Sustainable Development workshop aims to raise awareness among financial institutions on the strategic role that fintech could play in addressing the financing challenges of the sustainable development agenda.

8-31 March 2021

Workshops: Climate Risks and TCFD for banks in Egypt and Tunisia

For banks in Egypt and Tunisia, join our series of workshops that will provide you with a better understanding of physical and transition risks as well as climate risk methodologies and tools to strengthen your bank’s resilience and help implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

14-15 July 2020 | Webinar

Webinar on Climate Risks and TCFD: Focus on Middle East and Africa

This 2-part webinar organized by UNEP FI will explore the dynamics of climate risks and opportunities for businesses, including the significance and impact of climate risks with a focus on institutions in Middle East and Africa. Further, it will cover the implementation of climate risk initiatives and programs, with a deep-dive on the Task-Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

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A new approach to unlocking private finance for climate and the SDGs in Egypt & Morocco

This paper is the product of a UNEP FI Reflective Cycle which investigated how a holistic and more locally driven approach to the SDGs could unlock private finance for climate change and other SDG topics in the MENA region. This process, which was conducted in Egypt and Morocco, combined desk-top research with a series of dialogues with experts and decision-makers from public and private entities from both countries.

Climate risk regulation in Africa’s financial sector and related private sector initiatives

This report highlights the state of climate risk regulation in Africa’s financial sector and presents an analysis of the financial stability architecture and climate risk initiatives in 12 selected deep-dive countries. It also highlights challenges hindering the integration of climate risk by financial sector authorities in Africa and offers potential areas of support for the key stakeholders in the finance ecosystem.

Greening the SMEs: Improving SME Access to Green Finance in Mauritius

This report offers a timely assessment of the access to, and the use of, green finance by SMEs in Mauritius. The study by extension evaluates the integration of sustainability in the business operations of SMEs in Mauritius, and explores applicable good practices and lessons from other countries and regions.

Promoting Sustainable Finance and Climate Finance in the Arab Region

This report analyses the climate change related risks countries in the Arab region are facing such as water scarcity, rising sea levels, drought, land degradation and desertification. It sheds light on the existing strategies and policies on climate adaptation and mitigation in the region, and emphasizes the importance of sustainable finance resources in transitioning to…

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – South Africa Roadmap

The PRI, The Generation Foundation and UNEP FI have launched a series of roadmaps as part of the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century initiative. The publications are the culmination of extensive consultation with regulators, investors, policy makers and attorneys across the countries. They make a series of recommendations to enable the market-wide adoption of…

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