“Days of making a return or a difference now over”
“The days of making a return or making a difference are over,” Justine Greening, Britain’s secretary of state for international development, told delegates at the recent FT/IFC Sustainable Finance 2013 conference in London.
“Sustainable finance is all about building markets in order to create wealth across the developing world,” she maintained, referencing the likes of China, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania that are now thriving economies, thanks to private sector investment.
“Emerging markets are now less seen as risks and rather more as markets with potential,” she said. “Some are turning from aid recipients into crucial trading partners.”
With the growing need for a “new type of investment professional”, Greening announced that the UK government is setting up two new initiatives. The Advancing Impact Management Skills (AIMS) programme, will train the new generation of impact investment professionals in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia with the aim of increasing local capacity, skills and expertise to develop and manage impact investments. A new Fund Managers Network will also be established to help them collaborate and share best practice on investments in health, education, water and sanitation.
Greening acknowledged that Britain had to “feed the pipeline” and announced that the country will boost early stage investments in African farming and agriculture. A £50m investment into the Agricultural Development Company (AgDevCo) will benefit 650,000 people across Africa with jobs and better incomes, she said.
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