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Nairobi to host inaugural dialogue on impact investment

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The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), in partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), on Monday December 10 is convening the inaugural Kenya Impact Dialogue in Nairobi to support the country’s impact investment community establish a National Advisory Board (NAB).

Impact investment in Kenya is growing fast due to a young, enterprising and ambitious population, a number of social and environmental challenges that need investment, and rates of return that are also attracting the attention of private impact investors.

This momentum is unlikely to cease, due to positive trends in the political, economic and business environment that render Kenya a potential hot-bed of private impact investment.

Industrialization Principal Secretary Betty Maina will deliver a special keynote address to more than 150 local and international delegates expected at the event.

Amit Bhatia, GSG CEO in a statement to newsrooms says GSG aims to harness the power of impact investment to unlock private capital for public good at scale to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Impact investment optimizes risk, return and impact to benefit people and the planet, by setting specific social and environmental objectives alongside financial returns.” Said Mr. Bhatia.

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Research by KPMG (The Impact of Impact Investment, 2018) shows that annual impact investments in Africa & Middle East have grown from $3.9 billion in 2016 to $7.1 billion in 2017, while the beneficiaries have increased from 79 million to 103 million over the same period.

Sir Ronald Cohen, GSG Founder and Chair, said: “This meeting comes at a very opportune time, as the world awakens to the fact that this revolutionary impact movement is about to reach a tipping point. With $22 trillion flowing in responsible, sustainable and impact Investment, we are on the path to creating the impact economies of the future.”

Delegates at the inaugural Kenya Impact Dialogue, that will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, will hear from leading experts, including Ms. Maina and Director of Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre and Special Envoy for Terrorism Prevention Martin Kimani.

Other speakers include, Dr. Githinji Gitahi, (Global CEO and Director General, Amref Health Africa Group), Dr. Shannon May (Co-Founder of Bridge International Academy), Teresa Mbagaya (Principal, Omidyar Network ) and Siddharth Chatterjee, Resident Representative – UNDP, Resident Coordinator for Kenya – UN).

Thanks to support from DFID, GSG is working actively in Kenya to develop a National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investment.

“A NAB is a vanguard for impact investment and serves as a national platform for private, public, and civil society actors to work together to create an enabling environment for impact investing,” said Mr. Bhatia, who will kick off the Dialogue with a keynote speech.

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On October 25th, South Africa launched its NAB and task forces are being set up in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia by local stakeholder groups to work towards the establishment of NABs. In October, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and South Africa were the latest countries to launch NABs to promote impact investing in their respective regions, bringing the impact movement to all inhabited continents around the globe.

The three countries joined the 18 existing countries and the European Union in the global network established by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) in response to the G8 Social Investment Task Force.

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