Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) and the Nigeria National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (Nigeria NABII) together with impact investing task forces in Burkina Faso and Senegal hosted the inaugural West Africa Deal Summit to drive catalytic capital to fill the $331 billion Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) financing gap in Africa. The event which brought together over 200 delegates from across West Africa saw the issuing of a joint statement and the launch of Catalytic Capital Africa (2CAfrica), a campaign to deploy Catalytic Capital to grow SMEs across Africa. Progress will be reviewed at the 2nd West Africa Deal Summit in Lagos Nigeria on 12th and 13th November 2024.
The summit brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and development practitioners from the private sector, development finance institutions, government, and civil society organizations to explore and accelerate innovative approaches to increase catalytic capital for SMEs and to identify investment opportunities with high potential for social and environmental impact. It was held at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Speaking at the summit, Mr. Alex Aseidu, Board Chair of Impact Investing Ghana highlighted the need for visionary leadership, good governance and patient capital to deliver jobs for Africa’s young people. He called for delegates to back their commitments with action – financing and practical market-based solutions that can deliver jobs and address some of the pressing social problems Africa faces.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Board Chair of Nigerian NABII called for honest conversations about why the SME financing gap persists and what has not worked in driving appropriate financing to SMEs. She called for more equitable partnerships between foundations, governments, international development and DFIs and other Catalytic Capital Providers on one hand and local ecosystem actors on the other hand to amplify local solutions and ensure sustainability and impact.
In a joint statement reiterating their commitment to increasing the flow of catalytic capital in the sub-region, delegates committed to deploy capital and called on catalytic capital providers to join them in building local financing ecosystems and increasing financing for SMEs. They launched the three year Catalytic Capital Africa (2CAfrica) campaign to track commitments and progress.