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Social Value Investing in the Horn of Africa

United States—Our world’s problems may seem too great and too complex to solve: endemic violence, climate change, affordable housing, food insecurity, wealth and income disparity, and so on. Our mission in the International Association for Peace and Economic Development, one of the Core Associations of the Universal Peace Federation, is to attract and develop innovative business, government, and economic thought leaders who can collectively impact society and lead to the creation of a global environment conducive to mutual prosperity between nations and between individuals within those nations.

UPF/IAED-Connecticut held a program on April 18, 2023 by webinar entitled “Social Value Investing in the Horn of Africa.” This topic was particularly relevant given the current conflict that has erupted in recent years in Sudan, a country that one of the speakers in this webinar has particularly close ties with.

The program, which was moderated by Mr. Roger Wetherall, was divided into two parts: Theory and Practice.

Professor William Eimicke first explained the theory of Social Value Investing which provides a five-point management framework to assist leaders in developing and measuring the success of cross-sector partnerships.

Then we heard from Mr. Magdi Amin who talked about his practical experience in researching, funding and implementing a variety of cross-sector partnerships in the Horn of Africa.

The Horn of Africa has suffered and struggled over the years with wars, tribal conflicts, famine, corruption and poverty. However, there are vast untapped natural resources and ingenuity among its talented population. Magdi Amin has founded the African Renaissance Partners, Horn of Africa Fund to practically bring together private investment, local entrepreneurs and government support to improve the lives of people in this part of the world. The plan for African Renaissance Partners, together with Mr. Amin’s investment experience, illustrated the principles behind Social Value Investing. He gave several examples of projects that he has been promoting in the telecommunications, power and farming sectors to help improve the livelihoods of people in the area while generating returns for the investors and improvements in employment, education and infrastructure in the countries where they are implemented.

In conclusion, we can see that capital investment and business activity is able to make a positive impact in creating a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Presenters: Dr. William Eimicke is a professor of Practice in International and Public Affairs and the founding director of the Picker Center at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He teaches courses in management, cross-sector partnerships, applied policy analysis, and innovation. Dr. Eimicke is co-author (with Howard Buffett) of Social Value Investing—A Management Framework for Effective Partnerships.

Mr. Magdi Amin is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of African Renaissance Partners, and an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. African Renaissance Partners is a venture capital firm based in Washington, Addis Ababa and Khartoum that backs entrepreneurs transforming the Horn of Africa by using technology to solve major development challenges such as access to finance, renewable energy, logistics, education, health and agricultural productivity.

After two decades with the World Bank and IFC, Magdi joined the Transitional Government of Sudan in January 2000 as a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Finance. He supported economic reforms to stabilize the economy, regain access to multilateral financial institutions, restructure Sudan’s external debt and create broad-based growth.

By Roger Wetherall, Executive Director, UPF-USA-Connecticut
Tuesday, April 18, 2023


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