AfricaSIF.org Workplans


AfricaSIF.org is designed as a platform. We are a network connecting and then making things happen. Many initiatives and actors contribute to sustainable investment in Africa, and AfricaSIF.org is an enabler for ALL of them. 

The goal is an affinity group of investment practitioners and stakeholders who invest in Africa and do so integrating environmental, social and governance [ESG] factors. AfricaSIF.org will help scale up the awareness, technical skills, and advocacy for sustainable investment in Africa, offering a platform for the flow of ideas in a “safe” context with the accountability and creativity of peers. 


AfricaSIF.org has three major areas of work:


1. NETWORK
:
    • Be a network for practitioners sharing ideas and information on how to approach ESG in investment in Africa and collaborating where useful on investment analysis of companies operating or listed in Africa in assessing their ESG performance. Networking with industry leaders through our working groups, roundtables, and virtual discussion groups.
    • Member benefits include automatic invitation to AfricaSIF.org roadshow events in Africa and internationally. Outreach to potential clients through materials targeted at the more than 200,000 members of SIFs globally each year. >Click for NETWORKING events

2. KNOWLEDGEBASE
:
    • Be a knowledgebase for sustainable investment work in Africa, collecting existing and future work, and conducting a survey of the types and amount of investment with ESG factors every two years. Act as repository for multimedia reflecting the state of sustainable and responsible investment in Africa. Investment industry research through AfricaSIF will include bi-annual reports, sustainability issue guides, fund profiles, media programs and other resources. >Click for AfricaSIF.org KNOWLEDGEBASE.
    • Research that builds credibility for sustainable investment in academic and policy circles, increases visibility, and provides a key information service will be a benefit to members, including first access to breaking research. >Click for more about AfricaSIF.org Marketplace Trends Report 2012.
    • Developing new research as a knowledgebase feeding into our education programming. >CLICK to learn more about AfricaSIF.org ESG Masterclasses.

3. ADVOCATE
:
    • Be an awareness raising and advocacy group that informs policymakers and international organizations what is happening in Africa and promotes Africa as an investment destination for sustainable investors. >Click for Why AfricaSIF.org?
    • AfricaSIF.org will be a group that promotes the work of pension funds, money managers, investment advisors, international and national organizations, investment agencies, development financing institutions, and individuals where they are moving forward the sustainability theme in investment in Africa. Media, policymaker and public education campaigns in Africa will also enhance the visibility, credibility, impact, and growth of sustainable investment in Africa and in the world.



Member-Driven Work Agenda

AfricaSIF.org  members will support sustainable investment through sustainable investment philosophy and strategy, venture philanthropy, project finance, investment decision-making, portfolio selection, shareholder advocacy and community investing in Africa. At the core AfricaSIF.org is simply a network of people and professionals, individuals and organizations, on a mission. These three propositions – network, knowledgebase and advocate – are the focus, and help us decide which projects may be planned and executed.

 

"Our members are actively seeking opportunities to deploy investment in clean tech and other sustainability themes in Africa. We look forward to working with and in the AfricaSIF network."

- JP Fourie, CEO of Southern Africa Venture Capital Association [SAVCA]; comments at AfricaSIF launch event 1, JSE on 9 June 2010.


 

AfricaSIF.org Workplans in 2012

The AfricaSIF.org Project began in Q1 2009 as investment practitioners recognized the opportunity for sustainable investment in Africa. The AfricaSIF.org Project team is developing AfricaSIF.org as hard and soft infrastructure beginning by attracting practitioners to join the AfricaSIF.org community. Key deliverables in 2012 are:
 
IN ACTION
  • NETWORKING
    • Host AfricaSIF.org Winter Networking 2012 mixer in Cape Town ahead of IMN Africa Cup of Investment Management
    • Complete legal & governance design and registration of not-for-profit company.
  • KNOWLEDGEBASE
    • Develop project plan, recruit project manager and project partners to research, analyze and publish inaugural AfricaSIF.org Marketplace Trends Report 2012 on sustainable investment market AUM in 54 countries in Africa.
    • Participate with global SIFs in developing model for survey and marketplace report for the AfricaSIF.org Marketplace & Trends Report 2012 . AfricaSIF.org is collaborating with regional respective SIFs on the work committee, and this group will start the process of reviewing the report methodologies to be wrapped up by December so that the research can begin early in 2012.
    • Host AfricaSIF.org ESG Masterclass 2012 to brief investors on latest in ESG thinking and services for Private Equity and Pension Funds.
  • ADVOCACY

IN IDEAS

  • Host Roadshow Networking Events in Africa, London and New York.
  • Plan and host a AfricaSIF.org Sustainable Investment Case Forum with universities (GIBS etc) to debate pros and cons of topical issues in the industry.
  • Complete AfricaSIF.org Member Proposition and recruit individual and institutional members, as well as sponsors and donors to form the funding and financing base for AfricaSIF.org, and direct the workplans fitting the member-driven AfricaSIF.org agenda within the Network, Knowledgebase, and Advocate themes.
  • Open membership to AfricaSIF.org Founder Members in 2012.
  • Launch webinars with MSCI ESG in 2012, Africa Calling on African theme issues and AfricaSIF.org Investment Analyst webinars as African company investment analyst meetings inviting companies listed in Africa or significant African businesses to present their sustainability, ESG, CSR + investment cases to the analyst community in Africa and the world. Partners may come from SIRAN (USA), ASISA, IAS, CSREurope, JSE SRI Index, and SRI-connect.


AfricaSIF.org Workplans beyond 2012

Potential future projects will be any project that helps to increase the knowledge about ESG in investment in Africa, that builds the network of practice of investment in Africa, and that develops awareness, advocacy and policy tools. Future work of AfricaSIF.org will seek to complement existing and ongoing efforts in sustainable finance that impact Africa, ranging from UN initiatives to business councils to investor coalitions to work of sister SIFs in America, Europe and Australasia. For example, regional development banks such as the African Development Bank are trying to build local environments in which entrepreneurs can flourish. 

Most projects will require direct or indirect funding from AfricaSIF.org and partnership with existing organizations or companies will fund the research or engagement, similar to the models adopted in the US and Europe. See Join AfricaSIF.org Future Project Funding


A sampling of future projects:

  • Expert survey: polling the membership on key investment topics to develop the picture of current challenges and opportunities for practitioners of ESG in investment in Africa. Partners may come from SIF, UKSIF, EUROSIF, NorSIF, SIO (Canada), RIAA, media like Africa Investor and Responsible-Investor.com.
  • Research questions: setting out key questions that need answering and/or inviting academic and research papers on the context and execution of ESG in investment in Africa. Partners may include universities in SA (NMMU, UNISA, UP, UCT, Wits), PRI Academic Network, sustainability consultants.
  • Best practice: inviting samples of excellent work by members to be awarded recognition and potentially prizes to showcase the work of members and stakeholders. ASISA SRI sub-committee, SIF, EuroSIF, Moskowitz Prize committee, Cosgrove Prize, OEKOS Foundation, IPE/Responsible Investor ESG Awards.
  • Policy development: assimilating member input to present to policy-makers in Africa and international initiatives. Partners may include UNCTAD, ASISA,iMF, African Development Bank, IISD, WRI, CERES, CFA Research Institute, BSR, NASD (US), SFA (UK), EUROSIF, SIF.
  • Retirement and pension fund trustee training: Africa recognizes the value and importance of education. In the professional context, AfricaSIF.org may foster better quality information dissemination and potentially supporting training modules on sustainable investment. Partners may include: Todays Trustee, Financial Sector SETA, Pension Lawyers Association, foundations supporting education in Africa, stock exchanges, ASISA academy, Australian RI academy, IBLF/Cambridge University Programme for Sustainable Leadership, UNCTAD,FairPensions UK, NASD.
  • Case study development: using the AfricaSIF.org network to bring forward case studies in partnership with think tanks, universities or industry associations to demonstrate the business and investment case for sustainable investment in Africa and the development of ESG factors in presenting the risks and opportunities of investment decisions.
  • Update africasif.org website.
  • Host Roadshow Networking Events inside and outside Africa.
  • Complete AfricaSIF.org Member Proposition and recruit individual and institutional members, as well as sponsors and donors to form the funding and financing base for AfricaSIF.org, and direct the workplans fitting the member-driven AfricaSIF.org agenda within the Network, Knowledgebase, and Advocate themes.


"We want to be a platform that helps connect new pools of capital to equity and other long-term investments in developing markets, to create productivity, growth, jobs, and hope. By expanding the concept of development, we can enlarge markets and opportunity.” 

- World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick at IFC/Emerging Markets Private Equity Association [EMPEA] conference, Washington DC, 12 May 2010 [link].