The recently concluded fifth edition of the SANKALP Africa Summit positively engaged over 1,000 different stakeholders from across the impact investing ecosystem, and deliberated on strategies for building partnerships and collaborations to drive the sustainability and inclusion agenda in Africa.
This year’s theme, ‘Open Alliance for a Sustainable & Inclusive Africa 2030’, revolved around the Sustainable Development Goals and how various partners can work with the private sector to achieve these goals. The summit highlighted what has been achieved so far and delved deeper into the untapped opportunities presented by the SDGs in Africa for the entrepreneurs, corporates and the development community.
Each year the summit recognizes high potential entrepreneurs and this year was no different. And this ear, 10
enterprises competed for the SANKALP Africa Award with the top three being recognized – that is iNuka Pap, a mobile lending and payment platform that allows members of rural credit unions to access timely loans and convenient payments; KopaGas, an enterprise that’s developed a commercially tested LPG smart meter for household use which incorporates a pay-as-you-cook model; and Mhogo Foods, an enterprise which processes multipurpose and affordable gluten-free cassava flour for sale to the low and middle income earners in Africa as winner, first runner up, and second runners-up respectively.
Winners from previous years have gone on to raise over US $500,000 in investments.
In line with this year’s theme, the summit largely also focused on different avenues through which the SDGs can be achieved. Dirk Elsen, Triodos Investment Management, Director Emerging Markets, Eleni Gabre-Madhin , Founder of Blue Moon Ethiopia and Temi Popoola, CEO, Renaissance Capital Nigeria shared on the role of private sector in driving the SDG Agenda while Boniface Mwangi, Founder of Pawa 254 and Joy Mboya, Director of the GoDown Arts Center spoke on the importance of an economy driven by ideas, creativity, innovation and artistic disruption.
One of the key partners at this year’s summit was the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) who believe that the private sector can play a critical role in fostering the implementation of the SDGs. KCIC and Kenya Climate Venture (KCV) provides support to a number of small and medium sized enterprises providing suitable solutions to challenges around clean energy, agriculture, and water. At the summit, KCIC highlighted the need to capitalise on the success of such entrepreneurs and promote eco-inclusive business models to trigger action towards an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, low-carbon economy in Kenya and beyond.
Speaking during the Summit, Vineet Rai, Founder, Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group said: “Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group believes that key goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be met by building entrepreneurial ecosystem that unleash entrepreneurial action toward core challenges around Employment, Health, Energy & Financial Inclusion. For the world and for us Africa remains the continent of hope with a very young population, bountiful resources and incredible talent. We believe Africa along with Asia would provide next wave of entrepreneurs that make substantial contribution in addressing complex challenges of poverty and hunger. Our various partnerships have strengthened our ability to contribute to local ecosystems as we have demonstrated with Intellecap initiative SANKALP. We now extend our engagement with the proposed launch of Aavishkaar African Fund by 2018-19.”
The Summit pushed exciting discussions around ensuring quality education, affordable healthcare for all and livelihoods are the new social defaults as we continue to partner towards achieving the SDGs. These discussions were structured in various formats like masterclasses and panel sessions, and addressed key topic areas like financing towards attaining the goals, building sustainable impact-based enterprises, forging collaborative partnerships, and imagining the future beyond the goals themselves.
The Summit was supported by the World Bank, Doen Foundation, Miller Center, KCIC, BMW Foundation, IDRC and several others who champion innovation, entrepreneurship, and impact investing for a sustainable and inclusive Africa.