The African Women Impact Fund (AWIF) Initiative has received its initial commitment of USD$60 million, as announced by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Standard Bank Group with assistance from the African Union Commission (AUC), the Motor Industry Retirement Funds (MIRF), the Copartes Pension Fund, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).
This was announced at the first-ever The Global Africa Business Initiative, which took place in New York City on September 18–19, during the week of the United Nations General Assembly.
South African pension funds The Motor Industry Retirement Funds (MIRF) and Copartes Pension Fund have each pledged $45 million to the Initiative, with BADEA contributing $15 million.
In accordance with the AWIF Initiative, MIRF and Copartes have decided to allocate their $45 million in assets recently allocated to supporting startup women fund managers in South Africa.
The main goal of the AWIF Initiative is to eliminate investor biases and systemic hurdles in the asset management sector by encouraging and enabling women-owned and women-led funds across the African continent.
The Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace, and Security of the African Union Commission, the African Women Leadership Network, and the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) have joined forces to create the African Women Impact Fund (AWIF).
The Standard Bank Group, as the primary sponsor, MiDA Advisors, as a significant strategic advisor, and RisCura, as the investment manager and supplier of manager development and support services, have all worked together to construct it.
The Initiative’s dual goals are to develop women finance executives to spur economic growth in Africa and to have a positive commercial impact on investors.
This first-of-its-kind initiative is well positioned to enable economic stimulation through sustainable and gender-inclusive capital growth opportunities with its bold goal of raising up to $1 billion over 10 years for women fund managers who will, in turn, invest in high-impact sectors and projects across Africa.
Additionally, the fund will enable the AWIF Initiative to make significant progress toward achieving the AU Agenda 2063 as well as SDGs 5 and 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which focus on gender equality, decent work, and economic growth.