African Wildlife Foundation announces new Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to scale up investment in Africa for the benefit of people and wildlife.
The perception of Africa as a troubled continent—riddled with war, stricken by disease, handicapped by corruption—may have once hampered private sector growth, but this is rapidly changing. Foreign investors are looking to Africa as a land of opportunity, while a growing group of African entrepreneurs is discovering a much friendlier business environment as the costs of starting and maintaining a business in Africa have fallen by more than two-thirds over the last seven years.
At the same time, a new species of investor—the impact investor—is looking for more than a financial return on investment, in search of businesses that will also yield social and environmental returns.
With the confluence of these factors, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) today announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action at the CGI Annual Meeting to raise and subsequently invest US$5 million in African businesses through its impact investing subsidiary, African Wildlife Capital (AWC). The commitment offers a glimpse into the innovative new way in which one nonprofit conservation organization is leveraging private investment to promote conservation and sustainable development in Africa.
“Development is sometimes seen as anathema to conservation,” said African Wildlife Foundation CEO Patrick Bergin. “But the fact is, Africa is developing at a rapid rate, with or without the blessing of the conservation community. The decision for conservation groups is whether we sit on the sidelines or whether we try and direct this development and foreign investment in Africa for the good of wildlife and people. This is precisely what African Wildlife Capital aims to do.” More....