ESG and Sustainable Investment in Africa

Session Description

Sustainable investment strategies, namely environmental, social, and governance (ESG) have been trending across Africa and globally. The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance notes that these investments have increased by 34% in five major global markets over two years to be over $39 trillion. Increasingly, investors have integrated social impact among their criteria as they prioritize positive outcomes along with favorable financial outcomes.

Africa has the opportunity to optimize the rise of green investments. Despite the risks posed by climate change and an uncertain economy, the African private equity sector has long been part of the ESG integration – 80% of investee African companies met ESG criteria in 2017. This session explores opportunities for growth in sustainable investment and development in Africa.

  • How can Africa rise as the premier destination for ESG and sustainable investment?
  • How will the shift toward ESG investment affect markets in Africa?
  • What is the role of development finance institutions, multilateral agencies, and government in facilitating investment and infrastructure financing?

Moderator

Josh Ghaim, Ph.D.

Founder and Managing Partner, IgniteGB Inc.
Co-Founder and CEO, Small World Brands Inc
Board Chairman, African Diaspora Network

Josh Ghaim is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ignite Growth Brands (IgniteGB), a new brand and innovation accelerator focused in the Health and Beauty markets as well as investments and support of Women and Minority led start-ups. Josh is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Small World Brands, the parent company of Nuria Beauty and Recharge Health brands.

Panelists

Romi Bhatia

Senior Finance and Investment Advisor, USAID

Mr. Romi Bhatia is the Senior Finance and Investment Advisor for USAID’s Africa Bureau focused on the implementation of its Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) Program. Mr. Bhatia has worked for the past 20 years in the international development and finance field with a focus on microfinance, small business development, and mobilizing private capital for development. During his 7-year span at USAID, Mr. Bhatia has also served in roles as the Sr. Advisor for Diaspora Engagement and Africa Team Lead for the former Office of Development Credit. Mr. Bhatia also served as a Senior Credit Analyst for the U.S. Development Finance Corporation prior to his return to USAID in 2022. Mr. Bhatia was a Fulbright scholar in India with SKS Microfinance (2001) and received his Master’s Degree in International Finance and Business from Columbia U (2004).

Stacy Amity Feld

Regional Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, West North America, Australia & New Zealand

Stacy is the Regional Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, West North America, Australia & New Zealand, and is based in South San Francisco, California. In this role, she leads a team of scientific and business leaders to build, advance, and manage a portfolio of co-investments and collaborations spanning the pharmaceutical, consumer health, and medical device sectors. Stacy is also responsible for expanding and nurturing the external networks within the innovation community, including academia, venture capital, entrepreneurs, and other governmental and private organizations. Stacy has 25 years of diverse business experience translating innovative science and technology into transformative commercial solutions for patients and consumers.

Eric V. Guichard

Founder and CEO, Homestrings

Eric V. Guichard is founder and CEO of Homestrings, a diaspora investment and research platform. Prior to Homestrings, Eric founded GRAVITAS Capital, a boutique institutional asset management company with $1.5 billion under advisory. Prior to his stint in the private sector, Eric was Portfolio Manager at the World Bank. Eric has advised the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, The World Bank, and USAID on diaspora investment engagement matters. He has published research papers on connecting remittances to development finance in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the Asian Development Bank.

Mary-Ivy Mbayah

Global Innovation, EY Sustainability

Ivy is a Technology Consultant with 8 years of experience at Ernst & Young LLP. She currently works on the Global Innovation and Global Sustainability teams, managing the strategic ESG investment portfolio across Asia Pacific, Europe & Middle East, and the Americas. Prior to this role, Ivy advised leading US banks on sustainable finance and climate risk management. She leads EY’s Americas-Africa Market Network (AAMN), an affinity group focused on being the pre-eminent connector and influencer in the EY US and Africa marketplace ecosystem. Prior to joining EY, Ivy worked in global wealth management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, editorial finance at the Financial Times in London, and communications at the Coca-Cola Foundation in South Africa.