Africa news

Published: May 2, 2019

Cocobod signs first sustainability-linked syndicated loan in Africa

A three year, US$300mn E&S transaction provides a financial incentive to improve environmental and social practices across the Ghanaian cocoa industry. 

On March 19th, Ghana Cocoa Board (otherwise known as Cocobod) signed a three-year US$300mn syndicated loan, which will be used to refinance cocoa bills. Notably, the loan margin is linked to Cocobod’s performance on three environmental and social (E&S) objectives. 

These objectives are: providing environmentally friendly cocoa production; increasing sensitivity to child labour; and empowering women. The more Cocobod achieves within these areas, the lower the margins will be. 

Societe Generale acted as bookrunner and E&S coordinator on the deal. As Emmanuel Chesneau, global head of trade commodity finance at Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking, tells EMEA Finance, this was a landmark transaction not just for Cocobod, but also for Ghana and indeed for Africa.

“This transaction is very important as it is the first syndicated, sustainability-linked transaction in favour of an African borrower,” he says. “It places Ghana in the spotlight and marks a precedent that will hopefully create incentives for other countries and companies to follow the path.”

This content is only available to our subscribers. Please click here for details of subscription plans or to request trial access.