The National Advisory Board (NAB) on Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) hosted an information session to mark the launch of the organisation to explore the concept of impact investment under the theme, 'Leveraging Private Capital to Close the SDG Funding Gap for a Prosperous Ghana'.
The launch was well attended by leaders from an impressive cross-section of organisations including, The British High Commission, Norwegian Embassy, UNDP, KOSMOS Energy, Ghana Commodity Exchange, Barclays Bank, Office of the President and Ministry of Finance (SDG Advisory).
Distinguished individuals who were on hand to share remarks and statements of support included Iain Walker(British High Commissioner), Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, UN Resident Coordinator, Dan Sackey (Ecobank, MD), George Sarpong, (KOSMOS Energy's Director of Corporate Affairs) and Krisztina Tora (GSG, Market Development Director).
"We are here to facilitate, convene and advocate for government, philanthropists, corporations, development agencies & banks to try new models of development financing. Because of the sheer scale of the problems we face, we need strong sponsors, partners and members to join us and collaborate on this exciting journey. It's the only way we can get things done in terms of our development," said Hamdiya Ismaila, the IIGh Taskforce Chair in her opening remarks.
A short presentation on the genesis of IIGh, the work of the Taskforce and its core mission was delivered by the Taskforce's representative on the Board, Sam Yeboah from Mirepa Capital.
The event provided IIGh a platform to present its mission to redefine Philanthropy and Development to augment stakeholder efforts, in particular, Government, Development Partners, Asset Owners, Philanthropists and the Social Ventures that are currently providing innovative new solutions to Ghana's most pressing development challenges.
IIGh has also been working through the membership process of the GSG (Global Steering Group for Impact Investing), the independent global group catalyzing impact investment and entrepreneurship as a critical step to signiﬁcantly increase the inﬂow of investments that solve social-environmental issues at scale.
The Keynote speech was presented by Sir Harvey McGrath, Chair, Big Society Capital and the UK National Advisory Board On Impact Investing who had spent the day with the IIGh Taskforce Members and NAB to share experience from the UK NAB's challenges including setting up appropriate structures and a regulatory and investment climate to tap into the multi-trillion dollar global impact assets available for development projects and social enterprises.
"The government is deeply committed to achieving the SDGs and driving change at scale to deal with challenges like climate change. Since we started last year, we have made huge strides in this initial stage of starting to put Ghana on the map for Impact. Once IIGh formally joins the global impact investment society and completes this foundational stage, we as government can support the work of Impact Investing Ghana by creating a regulatory environment for Impact Investment to thrive," said Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta also the Interim Chair of IIGh.
IIGh National Advisory Board includes high profile business leaders such as Tralance Addy (YARO Capital), Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh (IBM), Alex Asiedu (Stanbic Investment Management), Constance Swaniker (Accents & Arts), Alex Bram (Hubtel) who will work with other global leaders in 21 GSG member countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Israel and Korea to signiﬁcantly increase the inflow of investments that have social or environmental impact.
The IIGh Taskforce comprises key actors from the investment and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ghana led by Hamdiya Ismaila(VCTF/Savanna Institute) and founding members Samuel Yeboah and Enyonam Kakane (Mirepa Capital), Nelson Amo (Innohub), Amma Lartey (Reach for Change/Social Enterprise Ghana), Gifty Volimkarime (EQWIP Hubs), Anna Samake (MBC Africa), Oludele Sonekan(Growth Mosaic), Hilde Opoku (Ministry of Finance/ SDG Special Advisor) and Amma Gyampo (AmDeCo/Lady Angel Network) who closed the program with these remarks, "There is a global paradigm shift towards balancing risk, return and impact in the allocation of capital. Impact investment provides an opportunity for both the private and public sector. Our job is to transform the narrative around Development and Philanthropy, inform more potential partners about the exciting new ways that Impact Investing can help us address the immense challenges we face and work with asset managers to understand that Profit and Purpose are not necessarily mutually exclusive."
Impact Investing Ghana is an independent, private-sector initiative founded by key ecosystem players: entrepreneurs, asset managers, intermediaries and start-up hub managers to advance the Development of Ghana with the SDG as its main framework.
IIGh will steer a multi-stakeholder effort (SDG Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals) towards more Responsible and Sustainable & Impact Investment allocations of portfolios, scale-up businesses that deliver measurable impact, advocate for leaders to make decisions based on risk-return-impact.
The strategic partners include, Ecobank, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) and Oxford Business Group (OBG).