World Bank’s ESF to Achieve Sustainable Investment in Africa


Sustainable investment in Africa is critical to the planet.  Africa is home to vast human and natural resource capacity, yet there have been a number of challenges to investment.  Among those challenges is the concern among investors that projects will not be able to address the risks that need to be overcome for development to be sustainable.  The concern that such challenges will not be met leads to delay in project development, implementation, and access to capital.  The presentation will discuss the path toward addressing these challenges, and what it will take not only to make investment sustainable, but the capacity of Africa to attract investment and implement investment operations.  


Charles E. Di Leva is a leading authority on environmental and social standards and project finance.  He is the World Bank’s Chief Officer, Environmental and Social Standards, and is responsible for advising the institution on the application of these standards including as set forth in the “Environmental and Social Framework for Investment Project Finance” (2018), of which he was a lead author.  He also served as Chief Counsel, Environmental and International Law, (2004-2016) where he managed a practice group responsible for environmental and social safeguards; climate change law and climate finance; advising on multilateral environmental agreements and relations with a range of UN agencies; and representing the Bank in compliance investigations, such as those carried out by the Bank’s Independent Inspection Panel.  Charles was the lead lawyer for the Bank’s accreditation by the Green Climate Fund under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Prior to the World Bank, Charles served in the U.S. Department of Justice as Trial Attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division (1984-86, 1990-1992).  He served with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the Director of the Environmental Law Program and Center (Bonn, 1999-2001), and in the United Nations Environment Program as a Senior Officer in the Environmental Law Unit (Nairobi. 1989-90).  Since 1994 he has been an Adjunct Professor at both the American University Washington College of Law and at George Washington School of Law, where he has taught courses related to trade and environment, the law of international financial institutions and sustainable development, and comparative environmental law. 

Charles was nominated in June 2017 to join the American College of Environmental Lawyers.  He is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, the American Society of International Law, and the D.C. Bar Association.  He is a graduate of the Vermont Law School and the University of Rhode Island.


Moderators: Wen Xiang, Beatriz Martinez Romera and Alessandro Monti

Organizers: SHIELD, Courts, CILG



The online seminar is now open for registration.

Please note that the seminar is part of the International Conferences “Sustainability Strategy and Asian Investments in Energy Sector in Africa – Regulatory Governance and Dispute Resolution” and “Asia and Africa in Transition”, University of Copenhagen, 28–30 June 2021.

Kindly register by 25 June 2021 to ensure you get the links in time and can access the seminar from the beginning.