The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity recently participated at the AFSIC Investing in Africa Conference and Expo 2023 held on 9 and 10 October in London, United Kingdom.
Since its establishment in 2013 the event is aimed at bringing together African business leaders and interesting investment opportunities with important investors and dealmakers.
The Fund Engagement Partner Smita Sanghrajka moderated an Agritech Panel titled ‘Sustainable Innovation Driving the Future of Agriculture’. The Panel consisted of Werner Opperman, Chief Executive Officer of Agrarius Sustainability Engineered, Jonty Rawlins, Head of Sustainability at Platcorp Group, Imran Patel, Director at Verdant Capital, Eren Kelekci, Chief Investment Officer, Food and Agriculture at African Development Bank and Nimrod Gerber, Managing Partner at Vital Capital Fund.
The panel discussion focussed on climate change and sustainable innovation in agriculture as well as the financial instruments required for investment in innovation/technology in agriculture.
The Fund Program Director Grace Mberia, presented in two sessions. The first was a quickfire session titled ‘Best New Fund Opportunities’, where Grace gave an introduction of the Fund, its thematic areas, its countries of focus as well as the program interventions. The second session was a presentation titled ‘Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation into Agriculture’. This looked into the correlation between climate change and agriculture and how the Fund is looking to work with SMEs offering various climate smart agriculture solutions to create employment for young women and men.
Nashipae Leteipan, the Fund Communications and Knowledge Sharing Manager, Winfred Kinuthia, the Grants and Finance Senior Associate, coordinated sessions where conference attendees sought more insight following the presentation and panel discussions. These ‘Meet the Agriculture Investors’ and ‘Meet the Private Equity Investors’ and ‘Meet the Impact Investors’ sessions were running concurrently with the presentations.
The Fund also had exhibition stand space, providing further information and opportunities for one-on-one discussions.
The event provided an opportunity to amplify the Fund message as it prepares to launch and start its first competition. It allowed the team to continue creating a database of prospective applicants, connect partners and technical assistance service providers for the Fund as it creates a community to be reached out to at different phases of the implementation process.