The Summit will convene delegates from across the continent and around the world to showcase investment opportunities and market-building efforts that generate social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.
The National Advisory Boards (NABs) for Impact Investing in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia, supported by affiliated African task forces, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, as well as the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), will be hosting the first Africa Impact Summit in South Africa on 13 and 14 July at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
This hybrid event, themed “Unleashing African potential through impact investing”, will serve as a platform for dialogue between leaders and experts from various sectors influencing impact investing across the continent, including policymakers, early-stage businesses and enterprises, fund managers, institutional investors, development finance institutions, and international organisations.
Motshegwa More, a sustainability and development consultant to Impact Investing South Africa, and one of the organisers of the summit, explains that this is the first-of-its-kind event for the continent. “We believe that it is important to create an African platform where the continent’s most persistent challenges including poverty, inequality and climate resilience are debated. ”
She adds that whereas summits of this nature are typically organised by one host country, this is the first collaborative regional event organised by credible African voices.
“Impact investing is still quite new globally and many people don’t yet fully understand it. We want to show that it is a tried-and-tested investment approach which can solve persistent social and environmental challenges, and to showcase examples of where it has been successful across the continent. We hope this summit will act as a catalyst to open doors for people to consider impact investing and to pivot towards operating sustainably as organisations.”
According to a report by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the amount of money committed to impact investing globally reached over $1tn in 2022, a ten-fold increase in the past five years, in funds targeting investments that not only generate a financial return, but deliver positive environmental and social outcomes as well.
However, while the 6th edition of the African Investing for Impact Barometer (AIFIB) shows that impact investing is growing in Africa, the continent lags behind the rest of the world in terms of investment. According to estimations by the Brookings Institution, the continent requires an additional $256 billion in funding every year until 2030 to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Yet Africa offers investors credible investment opportunities,” says Elias Masilela, Chairman of DNA Economics and Chair of the South African Impact Investing National Task Force. “As home to the world’s youngest population and with the new free trade agreement AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) creating the largest free trade area in the world, the continent has the potential to experience tremendous economic growth this century. But to capitalise on these opportunities we need to equip investors with a better understanding of pipeline opportunities and tap into innovative financing mechanisms and work together to de-risk and grow the market.”
The Africa Impact Summit will seek to do exactly this. With over 40 participating speakers, delegates will have the opportunity to learn about the sectors that are driving development and impact in Africa – agriculture, climate change, education, energy, financial services, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, and water – and gain an understanding of the key actions required to accelerate sustainable development on the continent.
Amma Lartey, CEO of Impact Investing Ghana and fellow summit organiser, says the summit will provide an opportunity to share knowledge and insights about innovations, and build meaningful relationships that can significantly accelerate the growth of impact investing across Africa.
“This summit is being convened by a diverse set of actors who are leading the impact movement in various countries across Africa, and it’s the best place to come and experience and contribute to the innovation and growth that is happening.”
The programme line-up includes a wide range of topics including Africa’s progress towards the SDGs, supporting women entrepreneurs, investing in SMEs and startups, and more. The winners of the inaugural Intellidex Africa Impact Investment Awards, aimed at shining a spotlight on impact investing in Africa, will also be announced during the Africa Impact Summit.
For further information and to register please visit https://africaimpactsummit.org/