State-owned asset management company, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Impact Investing South Africa (IISA) have launched a report, titled the ‘Africa Impact Report 2019’, which aims to advocate a sound investment case for African economies to become catalysts for collaboration between governments and private investors.
The report also aims to fast-track sustainable and scalable solutions for Africa’s impact investment priorities.
The PIC explains that impact investing refers to investments with the explicit intent to generate measurable social or environmental benefits alongside sound financial returns for investors.
With assets under the PIC’s management exceeding R2.1-trillion, or $145-billion, the PIC is the biggest investor on the African continent.
The PIC has exposure to asset classes such as listed equities, bonds, real estate, private equity and impact investments. The majority of its investments are in South Africa and the remainder in the rest of the African continent and other global markets.
The IISA is a voluntary partnership amongst conscientious role-players, including development finance institutions, private, retail and investment banks, individuals who represent private capital suppliers, enterprise supporters, public policy and academia.
IISA is working to identify focus areas and a set of strategies to support growth in South Africa’s impact investment market and to promote public–private coordination towards government’s National Development Plan objectives and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
“The PIC appreciates the opportunity to contribute to develop a body of knowledge that can meaningfully inform investment decisions and feasible opportunities for impact investing. As a long-term investor, the PIC believes impact investing must be elevated as a strategic investment priority if we want to progress towards achieving the seventeen UN SDGs,” says PIC research and project developments head Sholto Dolamo.
As a working paper, the Africa Impact report presents a summary of impact investment-related information, research and recommendations from a range of government and private sector sources. It also presents a baseline assessment of progress made with respect to the UN SDGs and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, macroeconomic growth prospects, capital availability and sector-specific opportunities.
The report further outlines gaps, which need to be addressed to advance impact investing on the African continent.
The PIC says further work will be done to identify solutions to these gaps to ensure impact investors into Africa can appropriately benchmark their return, risk and impact requirements.