A number of leading stock exchanges are helping to drive sustainability reporting via the inclusion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements in their listing regulations. Following a review of listing regulations, corporate disclosure practices of listed companies and consultations with experts from stock exchanges and listed companies, this report explores the level and extent of sustainability activities of 10 stock exchanges across sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan stock exchanges should introduce requirements for listed companies to report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters or develop voluntary guidelines on the topic.
Examining stock exchanges in Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the report, says that while there are fledgling signs of intent to introduce ESG disclosures from some of the stock exchanges, there is room for more commitment to be shown and more widespread action on their part. The report urges stock exchanges to to develop more extensive and meaningful disclosure requirements.
The report also finds that with the exception of listed companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which is the most advanced stock exchange in the region when it comes to sustainability, the level of sustainability reporting from the largest listed companies across sub-Saharan Africa is very low, with only 13 companies (15%) reporting on sustainability, either through a sustainability report, combined report or integrated report. The ACCA report calls for listed companies in this region to increase the quantity and quality of their sustainability disclosures.