L-R: Patsian Low, Chief of Staff & Asian Policy Director, AVPN, Singapore; Royston Braganza, CEO, Grameen Capital India Limited; Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters; Dr. Bala Magaji, Director, Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) and Business Innovation Facility (BIF2); Melanie Moleno, Program Director Inclusive Business Program, Board of Investments, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines and Oluwatoyin Adegbite-Moore, Executive Director of AVPA West Africa
African Policy Road Show: “Building Robust Policy for Increased Social Investment & Inclusive Business”
The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) and the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN) joined forces to promote inclusive, impact first ventures through its three-country African Policy Road Show themed: “Building Robust Policy for Increased Social Investment & Inclusive Business.” The Lagos edition which took place on Friday, the 16th of August at the Abora Suites, Eko Hotels brought together 111 leaders in public, private and social sectors providing a platform to unpack the challenges faced and celebrate the successes of building robust policy environment for increased social investment and inclusive business development. A further objective of the show was to understand and leverage learnings from the success story of the AVPN (Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, sister organisation to AVPA) whose systems and policy forums have become a successful framework.
The Chairman, Board of Directors of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance, (AVPA) Mr. Yemi Cardoso in his welcome address emphasised, “The importance of partnerships between Federal, State, Private entities and the social sector in building and strengthening a robust environment in which social investment and inclusive business can flourish in Nigeria.”
Corroborating his point was Christian Jahn, Executive Director of Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN), “Inclusive business is a triple win for companies, the poor population, and the government–iBAN is convinced that supporting strong national inclusive business policies is essential for including all citizens in the benefits of Nigeria’s economic growth.”
The Lagos event was largely attended by stakeholders in the public, private and social sectors with Keynote Address by Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency, the Vice President of the Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, ably represented by His Excellency, Ambassador Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, who assured the all stakeholders in his remarks that “the Federal Government will provide micro-lending to about 2.5 million small trades and business to the lowest income earners through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)”. He talked about the federal government’s commitment to work with the private sector on the national social investment programs.
Also, in the remarks by His Excellency, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who commended the efforts of the AVPA and iBAN initiative and emphasized deeply the role of private capital to deliver the infrastructure required to grow Nigeria’s economy and provide jobs for millions of young Nigerians. He talked about the importance of bridging the gap between the mindlessly wealthy and the hopelessly poor in the society. He talked about Ekiti State’s readiness to work with the private sector to ensure the social and economic programs improve the conditions and prospects of the people of Ekiti State.
Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, the Advisory Partner and Chief Economist at PwC West Africa & The Founding Director, The Africa Institute was the powerhouse of the day moderating in two-panel sessions and contributed as a panelist in the third.
The first panel session on Perspectives of Social Investment and Inclusive Business from Asia and Nigeria featured Ms. Patsian Low, the Chief of Staff & Asian Policy Director, AVPN talked about the role of AVPN similar to AVPA as ecosystem builders, facilitators and conveners. The focus on public sector and engagement with the private sector is based on the philosophy that policy sustains and amplifies impact from social investment and inclusive business. Patsian Low led off with the role of AVPN in being the facilitator and catalyst for developing the policy framework for social investment and inclusive business in Asia.
Melanie Moleno, Program Director, Inclusive Business Program – Board of Investments, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines, gave examples of policy initiatives in the Philippines—provision of 5 years fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to agribusiness and tourism which included (medium-sized enterprise) MSEs in the value chain, engagement of low-income communities as well as income increase of engaged low income communities. She also mentioned their government’s innovation around provision of capacity building, access to finance and provision of technology.
Royston Braganza, CEO, Grameen Capital India Limited. Royston talked about the reason why all parties must partner in order to a multiplier effect on the current investment gap of about $2.5 trillion per year and that this gap presents an opportunity for private sector to contribute $1-2 trillion to social investments resulting in $12 trillion per year of new market opportunities. He talked about Blended Finance which has grown to $138 Billion globally of which 42% is flowing into sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, public and private must develop “Clued-in” Policy and Ecosystem resulting in AFRICA
A – Access & Acceleration through Technology
F – Forward Looking Policy
R – Results Based Finance
I – Impact Measurement
C – Capital-with-a-Conscience
A – All Included-Leaving no one behind
Dr. Bala Magaji, Director, Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) and Business Innovation Facility (BIF2), Nigeria. Magaji shared examples of how farmers in the North became empowered to farm, earn a living and contribute to the value chain of businesses needing their products in the market. The panelists defined and shared examples of what social investment and inclusive business models entails in their respective countries.
The second panel session on the Role of Public and Private Sectors in Accelerating Social Investment and Inclusive Business featured Abubakar Suleiman, MD Sterling Bank Plc, Dr. Ndidi Nnoli, Group Chief Sustainability & Governance Officer, Dangote Group, Thelma Ekiyor, Managing Partner, SME.NG, Chairperson, Afrigrants & Board Director, All-on. Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Partner & Co-Founder, African Capital Alliance; and Former Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment spoke about the importance of learning from the examples provided from Asia and specifically the acronym AFRICA and the Livelihood Impact Bond as an example that Nigeria can emulate with key partners. These panelists used their companies as a case study to highlight the major role both public and private sectors play in accelerating social investment and inclusive business.
The third panel moderated by Onyi Sunday, Former CNBC Africa Anchor and Producer, on Advancing Sustainable Development through Social Investment and Inclusive Business, featured Ebenezer Onyeagwu, MD, Zenith Bank, Margaret Olele, Executive Secretary/ CEO, American Business Council, Professor Pat Utomi, Founder/ CEO at Centre for Values in leadership (CVL) and AVPA Board of Director, Adesuwa Ighile, Executive Assistant to the Regional Director, Ford Foundation and Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, the Advisory Partner and Chief Economist at PwC West Africa & The Founding Director, The Africa Institute. During their conversation, each panelist advocated that both social investment and inclusive business models can be used to advance sustainable development within the nation which is a major advantage.
Oluwatoyin Adegbite-Moore, Executive Director of West Africa, AVPA concluded the sessions with a call-to-action stating, “The theme can only be realized through the Power of Partnerships between government, private and social sectors with the private sector driving the process. Hence, it is paramount that these partnerships are forged and harnessed within the nation.”
The closing remarks and vote of thanks was done by CEO All–On and AVPA Board of Directors, Dr. Wiebe Boer.