Clear industry guidelines can help address credibility concerns on impact investing in Africa, and could help accelerate the allocation of investors’ capital into impact investments.
IFC signed 2 grant agreements with MicroEnsure Ltd for index-based weather insurance to help small-scale farmers in Rwanda and Zambia manage drought and too much rain.
A major shift is coming in which investors, individual and institutional, will commit at least a portion of their investable assets to social impact and investing in harmony with their values, says Calvert Foundation..
A partnership between the innovative Stock Exchange of Mauritius and social enterprise NeXii is making great progress towards setting up the Impact Exchange (iX) board on a globally recognized stock exchange. Six companies have gone through the listing process and the iX board expects to start trading in the third quarter of 2013.
Voxtra East Africa Agribusiness Fund, a Norwegian social investor, has completed its inaugural investment of US$1.5 million in Mtanga Farms Limited in Tanzania, which grows seeds, crops and livestock.
Aureos Africa Health Fund invested $2.5 million in a Kenyan hospital and health insurance company, the Avenue Group, which offers affordable healthcare cover, integrated with quality healthcare provision.
East African venture capital firm InReturn Capital has entered a partnership with Hurlingham Eye Care Services group (HECS). InReturn Capital is an impact investing company which aims to generate positive social impact and profits by investing in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa.
U.S. development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is to invest up to $285 million in financing to private equity funds. These in turn should raise more than $875m, representing the largest commitment by the U.S. Government to impact investing in emerging markets.
The UK’s regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has issued a warning about unregulated “sustainable, ethical and alternative” investments. It says: “We are seeing an increasing number of overseas schemes that offer investment opportunities in tree and crop plots abroad, and other ethical investments.”
Tiny, small and medium businesses in Egypt and Tunisia, later Algeria and Morocco, are set to benefit from a new €30 million ($43.2 mn) SANAD Fund for MSME.
Giant UK development finance institution the CDC Group has announced a new business plan. Changes include direct investing rather than via funds, and focusing only on low and lower-middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Jacana, a UK-based group that supports emerging SME private equity firms in Africa, has launched its second investment, a strategic partnership with Ghanaian fund manager Fidelity Capital Partners Limited.
Two African stock exchanges are among leaders in requesting companies to report on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. South Africa’s JSE Ltd this year became the first exchange in the world to require listed companies to move towards integrated reporting which includes ESG reports along with profit figures. The Egyptian Exchange, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Malaysia are other exchanges discussing with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment initiative through its sustainable stock exchanges dialogue.
Impact investing represents big shift for Africa, as highlighted at this week’s Social Capital 09 conference in San Francisco.