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Foundations collaborate to promote impact investment in Africa



Two philanthropic foundations have created an African impact investment fund, which they hope will go on to drive social and economic change across the continent.

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation announced the creation of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF) at an event on Friday.

Impact investing is based around making a positive difference on society and the environment, solving social challenges and addressing threats to ecosystems, while simultaneously providing a healthy financial return.

Forbes reported that Dr Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation – founded by the Nigerian banker and philanthropist Tony Elumelu – said, “Impact Investing is a critical tool in driving our agenda of promoting entrepreneurship for lasting economic and social development in Africa.

We want to see more deals of this nature and our commitment to support this new fund is just the beginning.”

The fund will be managed by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), which will work with the two foundations to optimise investment “while strengthening the sector’s entrepreneurial talent and African ecosystem.”

Eme Essien Lore, acting managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, said, “Our work is helping accelerate the growth of the impact investing industry in Africa as we partner with organisations that are at the forefront of helping to achieve equitable growth for all.”

The Rockefeller Foundation has launched other impact investment initiatives in developing countries. It hosted a regional forum in Brazil last year, presenting proposals for investment in the global south, and recently unveiled a partnership with Asia Community Ventures to boost impact investment in south-east Asia.

A survey from earlier this year by GIIN in association with JP Morgan, predicted that impact investment will grow by 12.5% in 2013 to a total of $9 billion (£5.6 billion).

Further reading:

Impact investment to grow by £1bn in 2013

‘Good Investor’ guide launched for socially-motivated investors

South Africa’s largest pension fund looks to sustainability

Africa told to invest sustainably for the long-term

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013



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