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CEO Blog: Live report from The Global African Investment Summit 2015

The Global African Investment Summit happening in London between 1-2 December is the world’s window to African project origination and global finance. Global leaders join here at Africa’s premier investment summit for bankable project transactions in sectors including Power, Agriculture, Financial Services, Capital Markets, Oil and Gas and Critical Infrastructure. See MEDO CEO Judi Sandrock and MEDO London Representative Peter Burdin’s live report on the event.

Key take aways from Day 1:

  • The African Continent is being recognised as the next destination for investment due to the increase in governance and the rapid implementation of information and communication technology.
  • The growing middle class pursues education for their children and housing for their families. The continent can once again become the bread basket of the world through farming optimization and water management. Entrepreneurs and their small businesses will drive this development to the extent that has not been seen ever before, elsewhere.

The stand out of the day was the panel contributions from Rocco Falconer of Planting Promise. Rocco’s view is that community and social impact do not come as a compromise to return but create additional value. His view uses “and” rather than “or” and include:

  • Value addition through collective growing of crops with small holder farmers, collective agri processing.
  • The building of a brand for the products to escape commodity traps, through brand and volume accessing markets in the UK and Europe.
  • Communities benefit through the high yields of their farms, education, water and sanitation funded through profits from product export sales.

Falconer added “be very careful when creating expectations as your project cannot be a panacea for all challenges faced by a community. Don’t promise what you don’t already have in the bag”. Impact and “social return on investment” need to be measured to allow for continuous improvement and reporting to investors. In order to do this, a base line measurement is required prior to project commencement and the impact measured regularly thereafter.

Judi Sandrock contributed by recalling a job creation project in South Africa’s Northern Cape. The sixty two jobs created for women increased the income of the community, yet the greater value came from the headmaster of the local school. The children were coming to school fed in the morning and could learn effectively. This qualitative impact had a greater lasting effect than the tangible wages injected into the community.


Key takeaways from Day 2:

The second day of the Summit began with a spectacular panel of African Leaders who shared their views on growth. The conclusion was a list of job creation activators:

  • Education to develop employable and portable skills
  • Removal of red tape
  • Infrastructure development so that products can move, people can move, power and water are available
  • A Leadership mind set change to think beyond single digit to double digit growth as China did
  • Technology availability and access to Internet
  • Beneficiation of minerals and agricultural products
  • Private sector companies taking on the role as change agents and to not just focus on profits
  • And a zero tolerance for corruption

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