The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has called for increased impact investing in Africa for the continent to attain its full potential.
According to a statement by the bank, he made the call during his keynote address at the Africa Investment Risk & Compliance Summit 2021 organised by the Emerging Business Intelligence & Innovation (EBII) Group which was held at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, on Friday.
Speaking on impact investing, Onyeagwu said it is an investment that yields optimal returns for investors, value for all stakeholders, and guarantees continued sustenance and existence of humanity. He noted that although the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that the global investors’ appetite for impact investing could total as much as $26 trillion, only approximately 8 percent of the assets of impact intent funds are focused on Africa.
He said this is not significant enough, considering that Africa is in dire need of investment and the continent’s 1.3 billion people represent about 17% of the global population of about 7.8bn.
Onyeagwu called for a paradigm shift, noting that Africa is a work in progress, and leaders in the public and private sector should not despair.
He encouraged leaders to champion the changes they want to see, pay close attention to responsibility and accountability in leadership.
The bank chief called for the de-risking of Africa through reforms, improved ease of doing business, respect for the rule of law and sanctity of contract, and human capital development.