African Women Impact Fund receives $50 million to create an inclusive investment environment – World
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Standard Bank Group, with the support of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), have announced the realization of the African Women’s Impact Fund (AWIF) Initiative its first closing of US$50 million.
The announcement was made during the inaugural edition of The Global Africa Business Initiative, held September 18-19 during United Nations General Assembly week in New York.
The existence of gender stereotypes and racial prejudices in society has detrimental effects on a global scale. This is true in the investment space where these biases hinder female entrepreneurship, the appointment of women to leadership positions, and the empowerment of female fund managers. Of the $69.1 trillion in financial assets under management worldwide, less than 1.3% are managed by women and people of color. It is increasingly alarming that only 7% of private equity and venture capital funds are allocated to women-led businesses in emerging markets.
The primary goal of the AWIF initiative is to overcome systemic barriers and investor biases in the asset management industry, by enabling and promoting women-owned and managed funds on the African continent.
AWIF is an initiative of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with its partners: UN Women, the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission and the Network of African Women Leaders. It was created in conjunction with Standard Bank Group as lead sponsor, MiDA Advisors as key strategic advisor and RisCura as investment manager and provider of manager development and support services.
The Initiative has a dual purpose: to make business impact for investors while empowering women leaders in finance to drive growth in Africa. With the audacious ambition to raise up to $1 billion over 10 years for women fund managers, who will in turn invest in high-impact sectors and projects across Africa, this one-of-a-kind initiative is well positioned to enable economic recovery through sustainable and inclusive capital growth opportunities.
Empowering African Women in Investment
Standard Bank Group views gender equity as both a basic human right and a business imperative. Lindeka Dzedze, Head of Global Markets: Strategic Partnerships at Standard Bank and Chair of AWIF’s Executive Committee explains: “Without women’s economic empowerment, the vision of increasing Africa’s financial output cannot be realized. . Understanding this, Standard Bank supports the AWIF initiative to raise the profile of established funds owned and managed by women who participate in listed and private markets, and short-term private debt.
Demonstrating this commitment, Standard Bank Group announced today at the Global Africa Business Initiative that $50 million will be allocated to AWIF to accelerate the initiative’s long-term ambitions.
“We believe that investing with female-led asset managers promotes the empowerment of women across society. With 20 years of experience supporting diverse investment managers and start-ups on the African continent, we are excited to manage the investments of the African Women Impact Fund and continue the journey of empowerment,” said Malcolm Fair, managing director of Riscura.
These funds will provide capital to women owners and managers of existing women funds across different asset classes and African regions. Dr. Sidi Ould TAH, Managing Director of BADEA, adds, “I believe this fund will accelerate fundraising and capital allocation by women fund managers to a transformative level. It is through initiatives aimed at breaking down barriers like these that together we can create a sustainable and scalable investment environment that drives inclusive growth for all who live in Africa.
In addition, it will give the AWIF initiative the ability to make a big leap forward in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 8, which target gender equality, decent work and economic growth, as well as the AU Agenda 2063. .
“AWIF aims to close the fundamental gap in women’s access to financial tools. As a result, the fund contributes to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 1 which calls for ending poverty. Supporting emerging African women fund managers will accelerate the representation of women-led funds. This will help close the current gender gap in labor markets, promote the emergence of female fund managers and entrepreneurs, remove identified barriers to attracting capital in a sustainable manner, and increase economic output, job creation and women’s economic empowerment and prosperity,” said Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary, ECA.
The growth of our continent stimulates world trade
With a $2.5 trillion market opportunity, the African continent has been identified as the single most important driver of the global business approach to gender-neutral asset management in the future.
Aymeric Saha, CEO of MiDA Advisors, said, “MiDA Advisors was honored to play a role in the creation of AWIF by facilitating the connection between the initiative’s three key players – ECA, Standard Bank Group and RisCura. . We believe that working on the economic empowerment of women in the financial sector is not only a necessity for continued economic development across the continent, but is also very much achievable with the right partnerships and programming. We look forward to the future successes of the selected fund managers and the impact they will in turn have on their home markets.
For all media inquiries, please contact:
Kate Johns Standard Bank
Media Relations M: +27 (0) 71 383 8718 E: Kate.Johns@standardbank.co.za
Comments are closed.