Author Archives: admin

Blockchain – a promising technology to help achieve the SDGs

16 Mar 19
No Comments

By Patrick FitzGerald, 4IP Group, Friday 15th of March 2019

Since the inception of blockchain technology more than a decade ago, many projects have emerged and have already given a glimpse of the huge potential this technology holds to transform many data-reliant processes of our economy and our governmental institutions. Many of these projects are being developed in the Crypto Valley located in the Swiss Canton of Zug, home to hundreds of blockchain startups and businesses. With the variety of applications of blockchain technology, it has become clear that it can be leveraged to contribute to solving humanitarian and development challenges.

This has sparked the interest organizations such as the United Nations who are keen to keep track of and enable such projects. It is in this context that the Geneva-based organization SDG Lab and the missions of Canada, Jamaica, and Switzerland organized a panel discussion attended by Patrick Fitzgerald from 4IP Group on the topic of how blockchain may contribute to achieving the SDGs. Experts from several blockchain companies were invited to the Palais des Nations in Geneva to share their insights and projects.

Ralf Kubli, Director of CV VC, introduced the topic of blockchain, explaining key characteristics and benefits of the technology and showcasing several projects that already contribute to the SDGs. Toni Caradonna, Chief Technical Officer at Porini Foundation, further elaborated on the potential of the technology and mentioned ongoing projects of his organization such as the SustainabilityChain which requires much less energy than other existing blockchains. Jonas Lötscher, Chief Product Officer at Procivis, highlighted the fact that 1.1 billion people lack a legal identity preventing them from accessing basic services, and a blockchain-based identity such as the one developed by his organization may help solve this issue. Finally, Maria Teresa Pisani of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe presented some ongoing pilot projects of intergovernmental organizations aiming to increase transparency in the fashion industry by tracking products along the value chain and to provide a legal identity to children vulnerable to human trafficking.

As Nadia Isler, Director of the SDG Lab, pointed out, this panel discussion is part of an ongoing dialogue on blockchain and sustainable development which is to be continued with the support of the Lab.

Finally, 4IP Group has had its radar focused on opportunities of the blockchain technology for well over 4 years now. As remittances have become more important than Overseas Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment inflows in some developing countries, it has become crucial to explore technological advances that can contribute to reducing their transaction costs, such as the Bitcoin blockchain technology that underpins digital currencies.

4IP Group believes that lowering the high remittance transaction costs by intermediation of the blockchain technology could potentially contribute significantly to the achievement of the United Nations SDGs.


From Trans-Gambia to Senegambia – A bridge over troubled water?

29 Jan 19
No Comments

In the early hours of the 21st of January 2019, 4IP Group Managing Partner, Christian Kingombe, left Greater Banjul accompanied by a number of executives from the Gambian Transport Union in direction of Soma, Lower River Region, in view of participating in The Inauguration of the “Senegambia” Bridge at Farafenni on the other side of the Gambia River approximately 200 km drive from the river’s estuary at the North Atlantic Ocean. We drove through the night from 1.30 a.m. until we arrived at Soma around 4 a.m., while witnessing the Total Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon) which was very visible on the whole journey given the lack of street light as soon as we passed by Banjul International Airport and throughout the Southern Bank highway to Soma despite passing several small towns each with their delaying (i.e. hidden costs) policy check point. We arrived around 5 p.m. at the bridge whose access roads (360 m south bank and 600 m on North Bank) still were under construction due to the condition of the soil of the area (swamps) on both sides of the river banks, which needs reinforced concrete structure. In the end it was not possible to cross the 12.00 m wide bridge with a carriageway width of 7.5 m, i.e. one lane in either direction, by car until it had been officially inaugurated and the ferry service was not operating for security reasons. Hence, we had to walk across the 942 meters long bridge in order to reach the other side where the programme would unfold. The financing had been provided by the AfDB for the amount of EUR67 Million and the duration of the work had taken 4 years done by Corsan & Arezki Group of companies.

The event itself was a historical moment not only for the two immediately concerned OMVG countries The Gambia and Senegal who had been discussing this bridge for over 40 years to improve the competitiveness of their economies. But it was also a victory for regional integration in Africa because the bridge constitutes a segment of the Trans-Gambia corridor, which Christian Kingombe since November 2018 had been working on through an EU funded project entitled “Support for Governance of the Road transport sector of the Gambia” looking at the Banjul-Dakar; Banjul-Bamako; Banjul-Bissau and Banjul-Conakry corridor performances in terms of logistics costs and delays and transport prices per ton-km as compared to other ECOWAS/UEMOA corridors. This EuropeAid Lot2: Infrastructure, sustainable growth and jobs funded study was timely completed today (29th of January 2019). The Trans-Gambia bridge which now has been renamed the Senegambia bridge is also missing an important missing link on the Dakar-Lagos Coastal Highway project, which means it will lend further support to closer regional integration within the ECOWAS region. Previously in March 2013 as Regional Integration & Trade Officer at the AfDB, Christian Kingombe oversaw the work of the Trade Unit, which contracted Crown Agents to carry out “The Study for the Establishment of a One Stop Border Post (OSBP) and the Examination of Border Procedures and Processes along the Trans-Gambia Bridge”. The soft infrastructure project was in support of the project to build a bridge over the Gambia River and with the increased traffic expected when the bridge is built, it is critical that the soft infrastructure is in place to ensure that the highway’s full potential as a regional trade corridor is achieved. However, the OSBP was not scheduled to open until the bridge becomes operational around five months from today and long after the Presidential Election which will have been held in Senegal on 24 February 2019, which probably explains why the bridge was inaugurated before the project is completely terminated. Notwithstanding the failure of timely completion of the hard and soft dimension of the Trans-Gambia bridge, Christian Kingombe still felt an immense pride of having been part of the project twice in his career. The significance of the event was reflected by the participation of VIPs from both countries. The host of the event was H.E. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia. The Guest of Honour was H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. The former was accompanied by the Vice-President of The Gambia and a great number of the ministers of the Government of The Gambia. The latter was likewise accompanied by the Prime Minister of Senegal and several important ministers of the Government of Senegal. As part of the official programme which started much later than scheduled, and after the speeches by the Contractor and the Consultant of the project, according to the official programme the AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, was supposed to have given his speech. But for unknown reasons he was replaced by the Mr. Charles Owusu Boamah, Senior Vice-President, African Development Bank. The former AfDB President Donald Kaberuka was also present at the event, since the structuring and approval of the project happened under his presidency of the AfDB. Statements were also provided by the Honourable Ministers of Finance & Economics Affairs and of Transport, Works & Infrastructure, the latter of which were the direct beneficiary of the EU funded “Support for Governance of the Road transport sector of the Gambia” executed by 4IP Group in collaboration with consultants from the EU Framework contractors COWI A/S and PPM.

The entertainment highlights were the musical performances from respective the King of Mbalakh Youssou Ndour (Senegal) and King of Kora Jaliba Kuyateh (The Gambia).

The cutting of the Ribbon followed by the unveiling of the plaque, which took place approximately 3 hours behind schedule, but it still marked a significant historical moment for the sub-region. The official programme was winded up with the two presidents having a car ride on the bridge, while the police tried to control and prevent the public from crossing the bridge.

When we at the AfDB commissioned the study in 2013 we found that the traffic levels along the Trans-Gambian Highway were relatively low, mainly due to unreliable inefficient ferry connections at Farafenni/Soma, which was still the case more than five and a half years later. Also in 2013 the crossing times for large trucks were up to 7 days although only one hour of this related to the actual ferry crossing and the rest was caused by the queue for the ferry on either side. This led to operators adopting less direct routes such as the N1/N6 road which circumvents the territory of The Gambia but adds approximately 400 Km to the journey.

With the opening of the Trans-Gambia bridge both Gambia and Senegal should no longer be losing substantial revenue due to the massively reduced delays and hence significantly increased trade, including goods in transit through The Gambia heading towards third countries, that is between not only The Gambia and Senegal, but also between The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and as far away as Bamako in Mali via the Port of Banjul as showed by the EU funded Trans-Gambia corridor study.

With the Implementation of our proposed Road Map (that is trade and transport facilitation recommended measures) aligned with the relevant ECOWAS protocols to ensure fluid and unobstructed border flows especially by the Governments of The Gambia and Senegal e.g. through the closer collaboration via the so-called Banjul-Dakar Corridor Management Committee addressing trade and transport facilitation issues along this Trans-Gambia corridor, should realise a reduction of transport costs and travelling time on the Trans-Gambia Highway of more than 30%.

The presence of the two presidents at the Inauguration event was an important showdown of strong political commitment to regional integration while at the same time overcoming a troubled past between two neighbouring countries. Because as one of the speakers stated at the ceremony if two such similar countries as The Gambia and Senegal, despite having had different colonial masters, with a common culture, language and history can’t jointly built and subsequently manage the flow of goods and people via the unique border post at the entry to the bridge over the Gambia River, then the overall African and ECOWAS regional integration projects are destined to remain troubled as we have seen with other regional integration projects such as the bridge over the Congo River.

Taskforce launch for establishment of the Zambia National Advisory Board: An Impact Revolution movement has arrived in Zambia.

25 Dec 18
No Comments

On 12 December, 2018, the Global Steering Group on impact investment (GSG) with support from IIX Chapter Lusaka and 4IP Group brought together 45 various stakeholders[1] of the ecosystem to discuss the impact investing movement in Zambia and constitute a taskforce for the establishment of a National Advisory Board (NAB)[2].

Among the dignitaries’ present were the Hon. Minister of National Development and Planning (MNDP), the permanent secretary for the MNDP, Chief Executive Officer and Marketing Development Director for GSG, Head of Economic Growth, DFID and the Chairperson of the taskforce of the NAB.

In his welcoming speech, Amit Bhatia, CEO of GSG thanked everyone present and expressed strong optimism about the future of impact investment movement in Zambia. The GSG is present to fully support the impact investment movement in Zambia. He further expressed his belief that the establishment of a NAB will be a necessary vehicle between local and global actors focused on directing private capital to public purpose. The Honorable Minister also expressed strong interest and pledged his support on behalf of the Government of The Republic of Zambia for the initiative.

After the welcoming speeches from DFID’s Representative and the Chairperson of the GSG Taskforce for the Zambia NAB, Krisztina Tora, the Marketing Development Director for GSG delivered a presentation on state of impact investment industry in Zambia which is estimated as of 2015 at USD 1.8 billion[3]. Further breakdown indicates that USD 157 million accounts for capital deployed by private impact investors while the remaining amount of USD 1.7 billion accounts for capital deployed by Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). She further highlighted the purpose and activities of the NAB and shared a few key success stories from already existing NABs particularly the South African NAB which currently is the only operational NAB on the African continent.

After the presentation, the moderator opened the floor for an interactive discussion on the matters arising from the presentations and the speeches. Some of the observations and contributions made include;

  • Pension funds are among the biggest suppliers of capital in Zambia. However, their current focus is limited to liquidity and capital preservation. Therefore, there is need to have them on a board and influence their decisions approach to risk, return and impact. 4IP Group stands ready to share its on-going experience engaging the Swiss Pensions funds with the Zambian GSG-NAB Taskforce.[4]
  • In order to have a successful NAB in Zambia, there is need to involve the government from the onset. In addition to the already expressed support from MNDP at the GSG event in Lusaka, however the GSG Taskforce will need to follow-up with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) as a follow-up to IIX Chapter Lusaka’s presentation of the GSG idea earlier this year for the Director of Economic and Finance Management and her whole department.
  • When it comes to the demand for capital, there are many growth-oriented enterprises in Zambia, however they need more hands-on support to become investor ready as 4IP Group is already doing with its Zambia Portfolio companies.
  • There is need to create a special vehicle to leverage the funds laying idle in Zambia for impact. For example, The UK government seizes millions of pounds from dormant bank and building society accounts to help it to meet existing funding commitments to “build a fairer society”.[5]
  • Another way of leveraging is to educate young social entrepreneurs about these windows of opportunity.
  • Among the biggest challenges facing Zambian impact investing opportunities are;
  1. Access to big pipeline (i.e. most enterprises are early stage and therefore in many cases not yet investment ready)
  2. Angel investment and Angel networks are not present in Zambia.

Upon the forthcoming establishment of the Zambian NAB the following issues could be addressed:

  • Day by day, Impact is becoming more important. Young people don’t want to work with companies that are not purpose driven[6]. In Zambia, human capital is also a challenge. Impact investing present an opportunity to address these concerns.
  • It is important to stress that impact measurement is an integral part of Impact investment. At the same time there is need to be clear on what impact investment is NOT.
  • There are several ways to make organizations (investees) measure their impact, for example by making it mandatory to report impact. Another way is the financial incentive because ESG measurement will open the investees for ESG oriented investors. This in turn will make it easier for 4IP Group to match the purpose driven enterprises with ESG investors such as Family Office and Pension Funds who we are currently engaging.
  • There exists no trade-off between short term and long-term impact.

The meeting ended with a call from all invited guests to volunteer to be part of the proposed Taskforce for the NAB. Without hesitation, 18 people stemming from 5 building blocks of the Impact Investing Eco-System expressed an interest in participating. Consequently, the meeting led to the Constitution of the GSG taskforce which will commence drafting a business plan for the establishment of a GSG NAB in 2019.

The constituted Taskforce team met for the first time on the 21st of December at Yemeni leadership centre, at Stanbic Bank, where they planned for the exciting Impact Revolutionary tasks ahead in Zambia as well as in collaboration with the sister NABs in Accra, Nairobi and Cape Town.


4IP Group Zambia



[1] Stakeholders represented players from 5 pillars of the ecosystem namely supply of capital, demand for capital, market builders, intermediaries and policy/government.

[2] National Advisory Board is that national go- to organisation for impact investment, leveraging the power of the collective for increased impact.

[3] Zambia is a favoured destination for impact investors in the southern Africa region. It’s the second highest recipient ( after South Africa ) of DFI capital and third highest (after SA and Angola) of private impact capital

[4] See the following 4IP Group resource:

[5] Source :

[6] Source:

Current research and practitioner views from the Geneva Summit on Sustainable Finance

17 Dec 18
No Comments

The 4th edition of the Geneva Summit on Sustainable Finance took place on the 7th of December in Geneva. Researchers from around the world convened to present the results of their latest research projects on sustainable finance and get feedback from practitioners.

Some of the key findings presented by academics included the following:

  • Corporate green bonds: they improve both financial and environmental performance of issuing companies. Based on the sample of green bonds studied, the value of stocks of issuing companies was found to have an excess increase in value of 0.67% compared to similar non-issuing companies. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions of issuing companies decreased by nearly 30% within 2 years of the date of the first issuance of a green bond.
  • Exporting pollution: companies headquartered in countries with stricter environmental regulations on carbon emissions do lower their emissions (scope 1 and 2) in that country but significantly increase them abroad, resulting in pollution export. Despite that, the overall net result is a decrease in emissions on the global level.
  • Shareholder coordinated engagement: to be successful the lead investor of the coordinated effort must be from the same location as the targeted company and have high AUM, as well as have the support of foreign investors also with high AUM and a large holding in the company. A successful engagement leads to a higher growth in sales and of the average profitability (ROA) of the company.

Practitioners also got to share their experiences through a high level panel with speakers from Swiss Re, CDP Europe, Lombard Odier Asset Management and the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Some of their observations and concerns were that:

  • There is still a belief that sustainable investing means less return;
  • There lacks a standard terminology;
  • There needs to be systematic reporting on ESG issues;
  • Incentives should be put in place to encourage sustainable investing;
  • Regulators need to act faster as this field is constantly evolving.

Finally, Nick Hughes, co-founder of M-KOPA, presented the ground-breaking clean energy and finance services they provide in East Africa, showing how micro-payments may bring affordable and clean assets to millions of people.

People’s First PPPs: buzzword or conceptual breakthrough?

09 Dec 18
No Comments

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as defined by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 benefit from a broad consensus and orient the action of all international organizations aiming to promote economic and social development.

In this context, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have been widely recognized as an important tool to help reaching the SDGs. While there is no consensus on the exact definition of PPPs, the World Bank has defined them as: “A long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility and remuneration is linked to performance”[1].  A slightly different definition by UNECE does not address the remuneration aspect: “Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) aim at financing, designing, implementing and operating public sector facilities and services. Their key characteristics include: a) Long-term (sometimes up to 30 years) service provisions; (b) The transfer of risk to the private sector; and (c) Different forms of long-term contracts drawn up between legal entities and public authorities”[2].

In the context of this article, it is not so important to define precisely PPPs than to recognize that the on-going practice has not completely dissipated any ambiguity on the concept and has not yet allowed a consensual definition. This situation may have to do with the fact that PPPs have emerged from practice rather than from a theoretical approach, but it may also reflect political divergences. However efficient and useful PPPs may be, including in contributing to the SDGs, they still remain exposed to criticism and dissent. Another important factor is that PPPs originated in an advanced country environment (primarily UK and Western Europe), which requires some adaptation to the needs of the developing world with regards to SDGs.

In the recent years, in view of the growing fiscal constraints on public development assistance budgets and the need to mobilize private capital to reach SDGs, UNECE has proposed an innovative concept, called People’s First PPPs (PF PPPs), which aims to allay criticisms of PPPs and to better harness PPPs to SDGs. The latest definition provided by UNECE of PF PPPs include the following criteria[3]:

Condition 1. Increase access of essential services to people, especially to the socially and economically   vulnerable; furthermore, people-first PPPs should promote social justice and make essential services accessible without restriction on any ground;

Condition  2. Developing  a  resilient  infrastructure  and  improving  environmental sustainability, cutting Co2 emissions and fostering green growth;

Condition  3. Demonstrating  project  economic  effectiveness,  projects  must be successful, achieve value for money and have a measurable impact by removing a barrier or creating new means for integrating groups into the global market place;

Condition 4. Be replicable and scalable so that they can be scaled up and achieve the transformational impact required by the 2030 Agenda;

Condition 5. Engaging all the stakeholders that are either directly involved in the PPP project or directly or indirectly affected in the short and /or long run

UNECE is elaborating a compendium of case studies which should comprise at least 500 projects to provide a ground-based illustration of what are PF PPPs[4].

From the point of view of international organizations and development practitioners, the promotion of this innovative concept will serve many purposes:

–         Some arguments in favor of PPPs are losing traction, especially in developed countries; for instance, the notion of value for money is more frequently seen as an ad hoc justification rather than a true project prioritization instrument. Therefore, new paradigms are required in order to better justify the use of PPPs, and PF PPPs may play this role.

–         PF PPPs create a benchmark to assess the quality of PPP projects from point of view of public interest that all stakeholders, but in priority NGO and civil society can take advantage of and, as the case maybe, influence the preparation process.

–         PF PPPs help to counter the bad publicity received by PPPs from their opponents who claim that they benefit only to the private sector, that they do not deliver their promises or that they encourage corruption. Using the People’s First moto shows that PPP are geared toward public interest and SDGs.

–         PF PPPs approach helps to constantly improve the quality of the PPP projects by creating standards and improving the understanding of how previous projects may have been ill designed or gone wrong.

It is too early to judge in practice the added value and the benefits of the PF PPPs concept as it has not yet really moved beyond the sphere of international organizations and managed to become a standard reference, despite the considerable efforts led by UNECE.  Only time will tell.

However, even at this early stage, it can be argued that the concept will have to overcome some hurdles to become mainstream and fully operational. For instance:

–         The added value of the PF PPPs concept needs to be made clear. PPPs is already a very broad concept. By definition PF PPPs are a subcomponent rather than an entirely new instrument. It could be argued that most PPPs already include part or all PF PPPs components and that those which have not done so had good reasons for that. Therefore it is not clear whether the adoption of the PF standards will have an impact on the ground and will be able to change the way projects are selected and designed, or whether the use of the PF PPPs approach appears only as a PR action.

–         The criteria mentioned above have not met consensus. Let’s take the condition on scalability:  it seems operative but in reality, it does not address the essence of a project. This condition could suggest that large projects that have a transformative effect of their own but cannot be replicated as there is room for only one project in a given country do not comply with the definition, which does not sound aligned with PF PPPs rationale. When taking a closer look, the exact content of the scalability concept may appear blurred: are we talking of scalability of the scheme, of the promoters and capital sources, of the contracts in place?  Depending of the projects elements that are included in the upscaling, the concept may go from all encompassing to reduced to nil.

–         PF PPPs definition runs the risk of lacking in clarity. At some point, all or nearly all projects could be qualified as People’s First PPP, while it could be the case for nearly no project under a stricter approach. The exact place of the cursor is open to controversy and at the end of the day might generate more criticism than what it was expected to solve: PPPs proponents will argue that their project is PF, while opponents will continue to deny it.

–         The terminology of People’s First PPP implicitly suggests there are non-People First projects, which most will understand as “Money-First PPPs”.  By creating a category of “good” PPPs, other projects that do not receive the label will implicitly be downgraded to dubious transactions with unclear motives, putting under stress both private and public partners.  The general public may be led to think that non-People’s First PPPs are bad projects which should be rejected. We believe that this would be harmful as PPPs may be designed to answer different problems and should not be criticized for the sole reason they do not fall under the PF umbrella.

In addition, there could be an issue with already operating projects that could be delegitimized as non-PF PPPs, thus offering a political basis to Governments to terminate them with or without proper private partner indemnity. This would probably disrupt the PPP market in the country where it would take place and even in wider geographic circles. The PF concept in such circumstances would have just contributed to intensify the criticism on PPPs rather than promoting them.

So far, as showed by a simple Google search, the use of the concept has not significantly extended beyond the UN sphere. This is obviously due to the fact that the concept is relatively new. There are however some grounds that slow down its adoption. First practitioners and observers need to be convinced of the added value of the concept, and this obviously will take time. The idea has so far encountered a mixed reception, some practitioners voicing enthusiasm for what they see as a new development tool, while others, possibly out of conservatism, pain to see the added value. Second, Government in developing countries, especially at the beginning of their PPP journey, too often understand PPPs as some magic instrument that will solve the infrastructure problems without threatening fiscal balance; in that respect they do not see the need to add new constraints to an instrument which is seen as positive whatever happens. Lastly private sector alone will not take the lead as they are afraid to be perceived as hypocritical.

These difficulties combined with the relatively slow start of the approach suggest that some precautions have to be implemented to avoid that the extensive use of the People’s First PPPs concept generates additional criticism on PPPs and become counterproductive.  We suggest the following:

(1)        Make it clear that there are diverse types of PPPs that are not subject to criticism per se, even though they are not People’s First as per UN criteria. For instance, PPPs could be classified as (1) People’s First  – those who provide basic services to low income users, (2) Technical – those who improve the quality of service and (3) Financial – those who decrease the cost of service or alleviate fiscal burden. The underlying idea is not to promote another classification, which has inevitably its limitations and drawbacks, but rather to indicate there are diverse types of PPPs that should not be abandoned for the pure reason they are not PF.

(2)       Work inclusively with international organizations, academia and NGOs in the one hand, and private sector in the other hand, to promote the notion through widespread consensus. The end goal should be to increase private financing of infrastructure, not create grounds to criticize and finally stem private sector financing. This cannot happen without major involvement of private actors, Banks and Contractors in the front line. The success of the Equator Principles in project finance shows the way, even though the PF PPPs take place in an even more complicated environment which mixes public and private spheres than private project finance.

(3)       Define a clear road map and vision of how the concept should be used and what role it should play. What incentives for Governments to take it onboard? What consequences for the Private sector?  One step in this direction is to accelerate the work on measurable standards and widely circulate them to help public understanding of what are PPPs, PF PPPs and what social impact they have.

In conclusion a difficult political line needs to be drawn where PF PPPs would be seen as a refinement of the PPP approach rather than a critic of the past.  More research and debate are necessary to achieve the required clarity and visibility, and avoid the fool traps of what could be otherwise a dangerous illusion, rather than a useful step forward.

Thibaut Mourgues, PPP Advisor


[1] source :

[2] source: UNECE, Guidebook on promoting good governance in PPPs, 2008

[3] source: draft Proposal for an Evaluation methodology for ‘People-First’ Public-Private Partnerships’, retrieved on


Corporate human rights due diligence and the responsibilities of investors, 4IP Group insights from the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights 2018

04 Dec 18
No Comments

On Wednesday 28th of November, 4IP Group Research Associates Torkil Hvam Sørensen and Patrick FitzGerald attended the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights 2018 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It is the world’s largest annual gathering on business and human rights with more than 2,000 participants from various stakeholder groups including governments, businesses, civil society, and investor organisations. The Forum serves as a global platform for stakeholders to discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The two 4IP Group delegates attended sessions where it was discussed how investors can drive more and better human rights due diligence, how business practices and their outcomes for people can be measured and what the current issues are in human rights reporting by businesses. Some key issues raised were that there is a lack of data and transparency by businesses on the topic of human rights as well as a lack of guidance to assess the materiality of human rights issues. Despite continuous improvements in human rights reporting these last years, there remains a lot of work to be done as it was noted that many businesses have already made commitments but are yet to measure outcomes and that they mostly focus on reporting positive impacts without commenting on the adverse impacts that they may have. It was recognized that investors can make a difference and that they are the main driver for better reporting, but it seems that investors are more willing to divest than to engage which may prevent them from having interesting discussions with businesses.

By attending the Forum, 4IP Group has gathered an overview of the current practices and challenges in human rights due diligence. 4IP Group has gotten insights on pioneering initiatives in this field that are being led by organisations such as Shift and the Investor Alliance for Human Rights which provide guidance to investors on their responsibilities regarding human rights issues. This will allow 4IP Group to better advise investors on how to carry out human rights due diligence according to best practice.

4IP Group attending the largest global gathering of impact investors, the GIIN Investor Forum in Paris, 29-31 Oct

30 Oct 18
No Comments

On Monday 29th of October, 4IP Group Managing Partner, Elsa Sarmento attended the half-day IRIS Upgrade Working Group Meeting aimed at facilitating an upgrade process for IRIS which will evolve IRIS from being a catalogue of generally accepted performance metrics to a comprehensive impact measurement and management (IMM) system that enables users to find specific resources, guidance, metrics, and templates based on needs and preferences.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, 30-31st of October, Elsa Sarmento will be attending the actual GIIN Investor Forum considered the global congress for the impact investing community. As the largest global gathering of impact investors and aspiring impact investors, the event serves as the vital hub for the most current information, opportunities, and connections in the field. From 4IP Group’s participation, we hope benefit and learn from the biggest leading actors in the impact investing industry in our quest to contribute to the shaping of a new future for the financial markets, e.g. through increasing the knowledge of the Impact Investing from the editing of a Handbook on Impact Investing.

From the exciting agenda drawing on the GIIN’s unparalleled experience 4IP Group in addition to attending the many plenary sessions will also be found at several of the streamed parallel sessions; refreshment & networking breaks and the drinks receptions where we look forward to showcasing our project portfolio and (ESG) advisory services as well as exploring new opportunities and potential external partnerships.

New Working Paper uploaded

29 Oct 18
No Comments

Please check our new Working Paper on contribution of Pension Funds to the supply of Impact Capital:

Supply of Impact Capital and Pension Funds


4IP Group attending UNCTAD WIF 22-26 Oct

21 Oct 18
No Comments

UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018

On 22nd to 26th of October, 4IP Group Managing Partner and current President Christian Kingombe and 4IP Group Research Associate, Torkil Hvam Sørensen, will be attending the UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the United Nations Headquarters in Europe and an international business, economic development and diplomacy hub.


The UNCTAD World Investment Forum celebrating its 10th anniversary is the pre-eminent global platform for investment and development. The Forum devises strategies and solutions for global investment and development challenges. It facilitates multi-stakeholder collective action to stimulate investment in development. The Forum offers a unique opportunity to influence investment-related policymaking, shape the global investment environment, and to network with global leaders in business and politics.


This will be 4IP Group’s inaugural participation in this major event, in our continued quest to participate in the creation of increased awareness for impact investing in Switzerland and beyond, while at the same time matching Swiss, Italian, French and Danish Impact Investors with investment opportunities in Emerging and Frontier Markets (see our event showcase).


The two 4IP Group delegates are looking forward to meeting with the +5,500 investment stakeholders as represented by a unique mix of impact entrepreneurs, (impact) investors, as well as sovereign wealth fund managers, investment treaty negotiators, heads of investment promotion agencies, international investment location experts, heads of international organizations, and the members of the EMPRETEC network during this leading forum to leverage investment policy for sustainable development.


Christian and Torkil have both signed up to the UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018 online community in order to be able to see who else is attending, start conversations with them, and to see which of our Twitter and LinkedIn connections are coming, as well as building a personal schedule of sessions which we are planning to attend. Should anyone wish to book private meetings with us, we can be reached through the UNCTAD Conference Application, but otherwise we can be found at the following Programme Sessions:


Official Opening of the Investment Village

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM, Mon, 22, Oct, 2018.

UNCTAD Youth Forum 2018: Youth Entrepreneurship: A force towards inclusive and sustainable growth globalization

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Mon, 22, Oct, 2018: Room XXI

See Christian Kingombe’s Book Review of ‘Youth Employment in Africa: Harnessing the power of the private sector to create sustainable work opportunities for Africa’s youth’ by World Bank. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations (AJPSIR). 2010. 85 pp.,

Grand Opening

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Mon, 22, Oct, 2018: Assembly Hall (3rd floor).

2018 United Nations Investment Promotion Awards

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM, Mon, 22, Oct, 2018: Assembly Hall (3rd floor)


Global Investment Game Changers Summit

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM, Mon, 22, Oct, 2018: Assembly Hall (3rd floor).

Global Leaders Investment Summit I: Investment in A New Era of Globalization

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: Assembly Hall (3rd floor).

IIA Break-out session, UNECA: Promoting transformative investment in Africa through regional integration

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: Room XXVI.

See paper Is Infrastructure the Key to Africa’s Economic Transformation?



Private Sector Solutions for Sustainable Development: ISO standards: helping to make the 2030 Agenda a reality

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: 3rd Floor, Bulding E, Exhibition Area.

Investment Promotion Conference

2:45 PM – 5:45 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: Room XXVI.

Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Global Dialogue

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: Room XVII.

4IP Group through one of its Managing Partner is affiliated, via IIX Chapter Lusaka, to the Impact Investing Exchange (IIX) which Introduced the Women’s Livelihood Bond™, which is a US$8 million bond for impact enterprises and microfinance institutions to grow their businesses and scale social impact. The world’s first listed bond with dual focus on financial and social returns, empowering the lives of over 385,000 women in Southeast Asia. We plan to roll this innovative tool for financing the SDGs in Africa via our involvement in our newly co-established “For Women In Africa”. IIX’s Impact Exchange is the world’s first Social Stock Exchange dedicated to connecting impact enterprises with capital that reflects values.


Main Obstacles and Solutions to Investments in Africa

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: Room XI (3rd floor).

See Policy paper on African growth, poverty reduction and the G-20


6:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Tue, 23, Oct, 2018: E-Building, 1st/3rd floor

Talking Business: Africa I

8:00 AM – 9:45 AM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Room XXIII

Private Sector Solutions for Sustainable Development: Introduction to Blockchain for Sustainable Development

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: 3rd Floor, Bulding E, Exhibition Area

See paper How to Lower the Cost of Remittances in Africa? – CFD Financial Inclusion Series

Global Leaders Investment Summit II

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Assembly Hall (3rd floor).

IIA Break-out session, FES, ICJ and IISD: Investment for sustainable development: incorporating investor obligations in trade and investments agreements

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Room XXVI

Talking Business: Africa 2

1:15 PM – 2:45 PM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Room XXIII


Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds Dialogue

2:30 PM – 5:00 PM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Room XXII.

4IP Group is actively involved in the ESAFON-led Swiss Impact Initiative, which is focusing on engaging with the Swiss Institutional Investors to incentivize them to allocate a higher share of their portfolio towards the Impact Investing asset class. Moreover, see our new resource publication on this topic which can be accessed here:

See also paper “Overcoming the global developmental and environmental challenges: The Role of capital markets and Institutional Investors.” Published on February 27, 2017 by Christian Kingombe.

Responsible Agricultural Investment

3:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Room XXV


For the social impact investors focusing on the agricultural sector please allow us to draw your attention towards our growing portfolio here: Teasers will be delivered to interested investors upon request.

ISAR Honours 2018

5:15 PM – 6:00 PM, Wed, 24, Oct, 2018: Room XVII

For those interested in commissioning best practice on sustainability and SDG reporting from 4IP Group please get in contact with us and take a closer look at our expertise here: and here:

Private Sector Solutions for Sustainable Development: Climate-Smart Agriculture is Business-Smart, cases from Latin America

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018: 3rd Floor, Bulding E, Exhibition Area.

People-first public-private partnerships

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018: Room XXIV

To access a sample of 4IP Group’s most recent PPP resources please click here:

Ministerial Roundtable on Entrepreneurship

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018: Room XX (3rd floor)

We will be attending this event as part of our support to the UNCTAD EMPRETEC Programme.

See most popular paper by Christian Kingombe: Review of the most recent literature on Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Input to DFID’s Wealth Creation Agenda: Making British International Development Policy more focused on Boosting Economic Growth and Wealth Creation.

Mobilizing investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in Africa: 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018. Room XXVI

To read about how 4IP Group’s is mobilizing Sustainable / ESG / Impact Investing for impact enterprises and sustainable infrastructure projects in Emerging Markets please click here:

Family Businesses as a Force for Long Term Good

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018: Room XXV

Regarding What is the role of businesses in delivering on the SDGs, particularly in emerging markets? We will be happy to discuss the role of some of the businesses in our portfolio:

Empretec Women in Business Awards 2018

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018: Assembly Hall (3rd floor)

4IP Group is a founding member of the new facility “FOR WOMEN IN AFRICA”. This Association aims to promote the development of the economic and social status of women in Africa. The Association aims to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Africa in the green economy. It may, in particular:

  • Supporting the growth of micro-small and medium-sized enterprises with technical and financial support,
  • Facilitate and support the marketing of products that meet the standards of the network and ensure wide dissemination of good practices,
  • Adhere to an organization and in general help and assist by any means any establishment, association or foundation pursuing a similar or complementary object to this.

For more news and links to our future not-for-profit work within this NGO click here:


7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Thu, 25, Oct, 2018 : Salle de Pas Perdu.


IIA Break-out session, CUTS International: Improving policy coherence to attract export oriented FDI for sustainable development: taking forward phase 3 of IIA reform: 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Room XXVI


Creating more and better jobs through investment

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Room XXVII

4IP Group Managing Partner spent the first almost four years of his career working to promote the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, which was followed by writing a PhD thesis focusing on how to create more jobs using labour-based rehabilitation and construction technology on rural roads in least developed countries (Zambia): An Enquiry into the Causes and Nature of the Transmission Mechanisms between Labour-Based Rural Roads, Sustainable Growth, and Agricultural Trade in Zambia‟s Eastern Province.

See also the following paper by Christian Kingombe: Employment Effects of Foreign Direct Investment in Host Developing Countries: Survey and Trends.

Special Economic Zones: Challenges and Opportunities

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Room XXIII

To access a think piece by 4IP Group Co-Founding Managing Partner, Dr. Kingombe, click here:

Women Entrepreneurship and the SDGs

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Room XI (3rd floor)

Again 4IP Group is happy to discuss to objectives of the new NGO “For Women in Africa” which we have just co-founded, which focuses on this theme.


Using Blended Capital to Finance the SDGs

10:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Room XXII

4IP Group founding managers are all previous senior African Development Bank (AfDB) officials. 4IP Group recently joined the Swiss Impact Investing Association (SIIA). 4IP Group also founded the IIX Chapter Lusaka: , which is a global initiative run by local leaders to connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of our communities. Together, IIX Chapters will explore the positive relationship between financial profit and positive impact by creating local communities of professionals across sectors that collaborate to achieve sustainable development and equitable growth in their cities.

4IP Group is similarly in the process of establishing a Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (GSGII) National Advisory Board in Lusaka, Zambia, which will be the first LDC joining the Impact Revolution led by Sir Ronald Cohen & GSGII: For more information click here:

Forum Outcome and Closing

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Room XX (3rd floor).



6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Fri, 26, Oct, 2018: Investment Village.


See you next week at the Palais des Nations.



4IP Group attending the GSGII Impact Summit 2018 “The Power of Impact: Driving to Tipping Point 2020”, New Delhi, India, 7-9th October 2018

05 Oct 18
No Comments

4IP Group Managing Partner and current rotating president, Christian Kingombe, and 4IP Group Zambian Pipeline Officer & IIX Chapter Lusaka Lead, Haggai Chomba, will be attending the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (GSGII) Impact Summit “The Power of Impact: Driving to Tipping Point 2020”, 7-9 October in New Delhi, India.

4IP Group has a wealth of exciting impact investing projects in our pipeline, including an exciting Affordable Housing (Sun City – Athi River) project South of Nairobi, Kenya; a Solar Power (Africa Utility Solar) Fund focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa; several wind power parks (Naxxar 1-4) in Romania; Biofuel (Green Fuel Sugar Estate and Ethanol Production Plant) project in Zimbabwe; Fruit Juice project in Guinea; PPP transport infrastructure projects in Tanzania and Uganda as well as numerous small, medium and large scale impact enterprises operating from Zambia.

As on-going Impact Investing Market Builders in Zambia, hitherto through the Impact Investing Exchange (IIX) Chapter Lusaka, we are looking forward to participating in the GSGII Summit’s first day’s Workshop for National Advisory Boards (NABs) and potential future NABs on Sunday October 7 in order to get to know existing, new and potential future NAB members from around the world as well as exploring and learning more about the following categories: NAB Structure & Governance, NAB Leadership, NAB Communication & Education, NAB Sustainability, NAB Delivery & Achievements in Market Building, Other Market Building topics?

During the remaining part of the GSGII Summit we are looking forward to in-person conversations with impact investors regarding our above mentioned impact investment pipeline and to meet with other 900 impact leaders of the global impact investing ecosystem engaged with key issues pertaining to demand; supply; intermediation; policy & regulation; and Market Building as the five core building blocks of the global impact investment eco-system issues. See you in New Delhi.