By Martin Tapfumaneyi Chemhere – Johannesburg: Promoting Impact Investing from China into Africa is a half day, invitation only seminar to be held on 21 March 2011 in Ghana, Accra’s Labadi Beach Hotel.
Rashika Padarath, Programme Manager at Gordon Institute of Business Science, Pretoria said: “No fee is charged, but it is essential to RSVP as the organizers would have to prepare appropriately in terms of space, logistics, food and other package requirements. Ghana’s businesses and media are encouraged to attend this watershed business meeting.”
The seminar is premised on the philosophy that “as Africa’s potential for economic growth is being realised, potential has increased to marry the interests of Chinese capital with impact investment opportunities in Africa – that is projects with a social and environmental focus.”
Gordon Institute of Business Science – www.gibs.co.za – believes the success of Chinese business in Africa will depend on Chinese firms’ ability to integrate their business models into the local African environments. To aid this process the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and the China-Africa Network at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Pretoria, is hosting a programme entitled “Promoting the Concept of Impact Investing in the social and environmental Space for Chinese investors in Africa”. In addition to running a research project, the programme is hosting a series of seminars in Southern, East & West Africa and China.
Guest speakers at the seminar include: Mr. Gong Jianzhong, Ambassador, Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Accra, Ghana; Dr Martyn Davies, Faculty, CEO, Frontier Advisory & GIBS; George Aboagye, CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC); Dr. Wiebe Boer, Chief Executive Officer, The Tony Elumelu Foundation; Edward Brown, Director, Policy Advisory Services African Center for Economic Transformation; Jon Hobbs, Senior Advisor: Trade and Investment, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Tanzania Office; Mike Solomon, Advisor, Wesizwe Platinum and Sam Nwanze, Senior Investment Manager, Heirs Holdings Limited.
The programme encourages dialogue between investors and creates cross cultural exchange and sharing of ideas around Chinese investment and African developmental needs. Running for a year beginning last year, it is the initiative of the China-Africa Network at GIBS with key international and Chinese partners. The Ghana leg is part of sessions held in Johannesburg, Accra, Nairobi and Beijing.
Dr Martyn Davies, Director of the China Africa Network at GIBS said: “Sustainable Chinese investments will not only have a lasting effect on the continent, but will be better received by African communities. Strategic investments will also contribute to key developmental challenges, such as the need to reduce poverty and unemployment.”
The implementation plan for the programme has three phases: A China-Africa Impact Investment Guide – A directory of Chinese financiers and impact investment opportunities in Africa.
Three seminars in Africa – To be held in South Africa, East Africa and West Africa, these will facilitate a deeper understanding of Chinese investors’ commercial and philanthropic aspirations to align African projects with the available Chinese capital.
An educational visit to Beijing, China availing opportunities to African impact investors to meet with Chinese financiers and share the social and environmental investment opportunities in Africa.
The ultimate aim of the programme is to inform Chinese financiers on the benefits of impact investing to promote sustainable social and environmental development in Africa and to educate African impact investors to align Chinese interests with specific developmental challenges.
As the commercial relationship between Africa and China continues to expand, these investments need to contribute to sustainable development, create jobs and benefit African communities in need.
The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) is an internationally accredited business school, based in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub.
For the seventh consecutive year, GIBS has been ranked as one of the top 50 business schools worldwide by the Financial Times’ executive education survey, the only African business school to make it into this year’s top 50.
Further information is available from Rashika Padarath, Program Manager, GIBS
Martin Tapfumaneyi Chemhere is a Zimbabwean freelance journalist based in South Africa. He has been writing news for print, electronic and web media for more than 15 years from Harare and now Johannesburg.