Impact Investment in Africa: Trends, Constraints and Opportunities

Uploaded on 24 May 2016

Report Summary

This report is a survey that assesses the current key trends, constraints & opportunities faced by the nascent impact investment sector on the African continent. It features some evidence based examples from the sector on impact enterprises and practises that can be used to measure, increase & improve Impact Investment in Africa.


African countries will require billions annually to deliver on the SDGs & the AU’s Agenda 2063, but they will not meet these huge investment needs with their own domestic resources. They will need to identify & mobilize funding from alternative & innovative sources & products such as impact investment, impact bonds, blended finance & green finance, amongst others, to fill this funding gap.


Through this report, it is our hope that relevant stakeholders at the national, regional, continental and international level will find a good source of information to inspire ideas & initiate discussion for a joint collaborative effort for an African Impact Investment Action Plan. With this, we hope to move towards the emergence of a strong and dynamic African impact investment sector, with its community members fully engaged, owning & leading these processes.

Impact Investment in Africa Action Plan

Version 13 Mar 2017

Working Version

The ultimate aim of the Impact Investment in Africa Action Plan is to support the development of a vibrant impact investment sector on the continent.


Responding directly to the challenges identified in the UNDP report on “Impact Investment in Africa: Trends, Constraints and Opportunities”, the Action Plan begins to outline the preliminary interventions that will be required to support the initial development of the impact investment sector in Africa, i.e.: (i) A coordinating network / body primarily responsible for implementation of the action plan and co-ordination of relevant stakeholders; (ii) A dynamic advocacy and awareness raising programme on impact investment in Africa; (iii) A strong pipeline of viable impact investees that are able to meet financial, social and/or environmental requirements; (iv) Enabling policy and regulatory environment in which impact investment can thrive; (v) Good practice in impact investment by high capacity, skilled and experienced impact investors; (vi) Appropriate infrastructure and mechanisms to facilitate impact investment deals; (vii) Consensus on and broad-based adoption of impact measurement standards and metrics to demonstrate social and environmental returns.


Available for download on this page is a working version of the Action Plan. It will be finalized leading up to an “Impact Investment in Africa Action Plan Implementation Kick-Off Meeting” scheduled to take place within 2016.

Cape Town Declaration on Impact Investment in Africa

Adopted on 26 Nov 2015

About the Declaration

Understanding the need to address the challenges that have impeded the growth of the impact investment sector in Africa, the Cape Town Declaration on Impact Investment in Africa was adopted by stakeholders during an Impact Investment in Africa High Level Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on November 26, 2015.


The declaration calls upon all stakeholders, including investors, governments, the private sector, development finance institutions, civil society, development partners, donors and other members of the impact investment community in Africa, to work together to support and operationalize the seven point Impact Investment in Africa Action Plan.


The Action Plan aims to catalyze and strengthen impact investment in Africa by supporting the creation of a conducive environment for impact investment to thrive in Africa as well as supporting the development of a dynamic impact investment sector in Africa.


The declaration committed to reconvene and encouraged key stakeholders to attend an action-plan implementation kick-off meeting in 2016.

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