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AWIF Initiative receives $60 million from institutional investors

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The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Automotive Industry Retirement Funds (MIRF) and Copartes Pension Fund have invested $60 million in the African Women’s Impact Fund initiative (AWIF).

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The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Automotive Industry Retirement Funds (MIRF) and Copartes Pension Fund have invested $60 million in the African Women’s Impact Fund initiative (AWIF).

AWIF is an initiative of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with its partners: UN Women, the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission and the Network of African Women Leaders. It was created in conjunction with Standard Bank Group as lead sponsor, MiDA Advisors as key strategic advisor and RisCura as investment manager and provider of manager development and support services.

Malcolm Fair, CEO of RisCura (pictured), said: “We believe investing with female-led asset managers empowers women across society. With 20 years of experience supporting diverse investment managers and start-ups on the African continent, we are excited to manage the investments of the African Women Impact Fund and continue the journey of empowerment.

“The commitment of African institutions to the AWIF initiative helps us attract potential global institutional investors in the next fundraising campaign,” he added.

The initial commitment of $60 million includes $15 million from BADEA and $45 million from the Automotive Industry Retirement Funds (MIRF) and Copartes Pension Fund in South Africa.

The MIRF and Copartes have agreed to contribute their $45 million in recently allocated assets to the development of young female fund managers in South Africa under the AWIF initiative.

Adam Essat, Senior Director of MIRF and Copartes, said, “Through our initial commitment of $45 million to the AWIF initiative, we hope to show that institutions across the African continent believe in and support this initiative and its goals. . We encourage global investors to act and invest alongside us to facilitate diversity, development and empowerment in a bright and unstoppable Africa.”

Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, Managing Director of BADEA, said, “I believe this fund will accelerate fundraising and capital allocation by women fund managers to a transformative level. It is through initiatives aimed at breaking down barriers like these that together we can create a sustainable and scalable investment environment that drives inclusive growth for all who live in Africa.

The primary goal of the AWIF initiative is to overcome systemic barriers and investor biases in the asset management industry, by enabling and promoting women-owned and managed funds on the African continent.

The funds will provide capital to existing female owners and female fund managers across different asset classes and African regions.

With the ambition to raise up to $1 billion over 10 years for women fund managers, this first-of-its-kind initiative is well-positioned to enable economic recovery through sustainable and inclusive capital growth opportunities.

Standard Bank Group views gender equity as both a fundamental human right and a business imperative.

Lindeka Dzedze, Head of Global Markets: Strategic Partnerships at Standard Bank and Chair of AWIF’s Executive Committee, said, “Without women’s economic empowerment, the vision of increasing Africa’s financial output cannot to come true. Understanding this, Standard Bank supports the AWIF initiative to raise the profile of established funds owned and managed by women who participate in listed and private markets, and short-term private debt.

Aymeric Saha, CEO of MiDA Advisors, added: “We believe that working on the economic empowerment of women in the financial sector is not only a necessity for further economic development across the continent, but is also totally achievable with the right partnerships and the right programming. We look forward to the future successes of the selected fund managers and the impact they will in turn have on their home markets.

According to Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary of ECA, AWIF aims to bridge the fundamental gap in women’s access to financial tools.

“As a result, the fund contributes to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 1 which calls for ending poverty. Supporting emerging African women fund managers will accelerate the representation of women-led funds. This will help close the current gender gap in labor markets, promote the emergence of female fund managers and entrepreneurs, remove identified barriers to attracting capital in a sustainable manner, and increase economic output, job creation and women’s economic empowerment and prosperity,” he said. said.