Savannah Impact Advisory, a specialised investment advisory firm, has been appointed fund manager of a US$75 million (GHC900 million) Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds, a blended finance vehicle.
The purpose is to unlock local funding for West African venture funds and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for inclusive growth.
The appointment was announced at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) global conference held in Accra this week.
Ci-Gaba, a local currency fund, is sponsored by Impact Investing Ghana with support from the Global Steering Group for Impact Investments, FMO Ventures and the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund of UK International Development.
Savannah Impact Advisory is a specialised investment advisory firm, with a focus on impact and gender investing.
The firm has over 30 years of experience in Fund-of-Funds management, Venture Capital and Private Equity Fund Structuring, and investments across West Africa. It is led by Hamdiya Ismaila.
Speaking at the event, Amma Lartey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Impact Investing Ghana said there was an urgent need for effective structures to close the $331 billion SME financing gap in Africa.
'Ci-Gaba is unlocking local pension funding, currently over $350 billion of assets across sub-Saharan Africa,' she said.
Hamdiya Ismaila said she was honoured to be appointed as the fund manager for the Ci-Gaba Fund of Funds.
'This opportunity aligns perfectly with Savannah Impact Advisory's commitment to impact investing and gender lens investing, and we look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the growth of West African venture funds and SMEs,' she said.
Mr Andrew Shaw of FMO Ventures said his outfit was 'delighted to support the development of the impact measurement and management matrix of the Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds to ultimately help better align with other impact investors.'
'This collaboration underscores our commitment to fostering sustainable and inclusive growth in the region,' he said
Mr Mark Lawler, Team Leader of the RISA Fund, a project of UK International Development, said the Fund was proud to have supported the operational set-up and stakeholder engagements for the Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds.
'This initiative exemplifies the power of collaboration in addressing financing gaps towards inclusive and sustainable innovation ecosystems in Africa,' he stated.
Mr Cliff Prior, CEO of Global Steering Group for Impact Investments (GSG) noted that the Fund of Funds are hugely valuable in local currency.
'We believe that this initiative will set a valuable precedent for impact investing in the region and beyond.'
The GSG were instrumental from the start in connecting initial funding from the MacArthur Foundation, World Economic Forum, Collaborative for Frontier Finance, and other key thought partners to provide input on the design of the Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds.
Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) is the Ghana National Advisory Board for Impact Investing. It is an independent private-sector-led initiative promoting sustainable development and advancing the development of the impact investment ecosystem in Ghana.
It is also Ghana's representative to the Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investing and a member of the Africa Impact Investing Group, and it is supporting the growth of impact ventures and generating $1 billion in impact funds for investment in Ghana and the West African sub-region.
FMO, on the other hand, is the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank and a leading impact investor, supporting sustainable private sector growth in frontier and growth markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs.
FMO focuses on three sectors that have a high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food, and water.
With a committed portfolio of EUR13.2 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally.
Source: Ghana News Agency