RemitFund, an award-winning non-profit, has developed the world’s first investment fund for African diaspora-led impact businesses. RemitFund aims to leverage on the flow of remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa which grew to US$37.8 billion in 2017 and predicted to hit around US$39.2 billion this year for greater social impact on the continent, by enabling Africans in the diaspora to donate a percentage of their remittances to an investment fund.
The capital raised from donations will provide investment for African and African diaspora-led businesses that work for the continent’s advancement in SDG-aligned sectors such as agribusiness and clean energy.
“Remittances in the traditional sense, are a form of diaspora-driven development and provide a huge safety net for many families”, says RemitFund’s Founder and Executive Director, Grace Camara.
“However, without the prospect of sustainable and growing economies, remittances in their current form will not provide sufficient investment to curb the “brain drain” of skilled Africans who struggle to find employment and so look for opportunities abroad. Without creating jobs on a large scale, dysfunctional migration from Africa will increase, as people risk their lives to reach Europe and beyond, perhaps ending up as slaves in Libya or even more tragically, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.”
According to the RemitFund Founder and Director, Africa has the youngest population in the world. The continent’s population is set to double by 2050 to 2.4 billion, and some African countries have youth unemployment as high as 60% and unless employment opportunities are created for Africa’s youth, dysfunctional migration will reach unprecedented levels.
“As aid budgets shrink and charities face increasing pressure to demonstrate real social impact, it’s imperative that we find innovative and creative ways to drive social, environmental and economic change in developing countries; by leveraging remittance flows through an investment fund, we can empower the diaspora to take development into their own hands,” says Michael Norton OBE, Founder of UnLtd and a member of RemitFund’s Advisory Board.
Christelle Kupa, Uhusiano Capital Founder and CEO and the Chair of RemitFund also added, “Impact investing is becoming more mainstream, and Africa perhaps more than any other continent can benefit from investments which target businesses that are firmly aligned with the SDGs”
“RemitFund will not only invest in businesses that demonstrate a social impact, but ut we are also helping to democratise access to finance by supporting African and African diaspora-led businesses, which are woefully underfunded and yet often have the greatest impact given the close connections that Africans in the diaspora have with their homelands.”
Image Credits: RemitFund