Building on the initial roadshow launch event in Johannesburg few weeks ago, AfricaSIF's second launch event was a success according to its attendees.

As Hylton Brown, one of AfricaSIF's Steering Committee members, explained: "The AfricaSIF event held last night at ASISA was a massive success, not only in attracting like-minded individuals, but in delivering a strong message that it’s up to us as Africans to bring about change, and that we can do it in a sustainable manner. What also came through was the number of top investment professionals who are behind this vision. It was great to see a diverse range of speakers, highlighting different aspects, but delivering the same message that AfricaSIF is something that matters." 

Kerry K. Sinclair, AfricaSIF VP of Marketing also explained that: "Our launch last night, second in our launch roadshow, was a great success. With an exceptional turnout of over 75 sustainability practioners from an impressive cross section of industries, we successful provided an understanding of AfricaSIF and its importance to Cape Town and the continent. From the comments last night, I would say that although sustainable investment is defined differently by all involved, it is truly a passion of everyone. That places AfricaSIF in the unique place to ignite this passion into a network that changes how investment is done in Africa to help steer the future of the continent in a positive direction."

Beyond the 7 great speaker and the important number of attendees, these additional quotes confirm the positive momentum AfricaSIF is building upon:

“For sustainable economic development in Africa it is imperative that there are conscious efforts to adopt investment strategies that integrate corporate profitability with social values and environmental concerns. It is commendable that AfricaSIF promotes such investment in Africa”, Meshach Aziakpono the Professor of Development Finance at University of Stellenbosch Business School

 

Africa is a continent filled with potential.  The key to releasing this potential is sustainable investment.  AfricaSIF is well placed to drive awareness and stimulate active discussion with the key stakeholders in unlocking this potential.” Sunette Mulder, Senior Policy Advisor, ASISA, Chairperson of CFA Institute GIPS Standing Committee South Africa and Deputy Chairperson of Code for Responsible Investing South Africa [CRISA]"

 

Andrew C. Canter, Chief Investment Officer of Futuregrowth Asset Management was frank about the realities of sustainable investment: “capital seeks economic returns:  While we hope, and expect, that many investors will seek positive developmental impact with their funds, it remains true that private capital investors “keep score” in economic, money terms...We must build investment processes that can earn sustainable, positive economic returns on client funds ... Underperformance – or outright losses – by any fund manager will undermine the diligent efforts of the entire sustainable investment industry ... We must be honest, transparent and forthright about the likely risks and returns of the investment products we create and promote.”  Canter also spoke about the AfricaSIF vision for promoting sustainable investment in Africa, across institutions and individuals: “Let us find common cause with individuals, let us invest in our own money in our best RI ideas, and let this movement spread organically upward.  Let us sell what we would buy.


Finally, as explained by Kerry K. Sinclair, AfricaSIF VP of Marketing: “AfricaSIF wishes to thank sponsors and supporters at Old Mutual Investment Group, the JSE SRI Index, RMB Asset Management, Futuregrowth Asset Management, ASISA, SinCo and Prowess Investment Management for sponsoring the launch events.”
 
Please keep posted with upcoming AfricaSIF events at http://www.africasif.org/events.php.

Please feel free to add your own comments below.

- RY