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The European Investment Bank and The Global Development Network strengthen global private-sector impact investment best-practice

Speakers at the EIB-GDN conference on assessing the development impacts of private sector impact investments

3 Dec 2020

  • Young researchers and global experts share impact measurement experience and guidance
  • 350 private sector, civil society, academic and development finance leaders join 3-day event
  • New analysis of impact on African healthcare, access to finance and innovation published

Maximizing the social, economic and public health impact of billions of Euros private and public investment is crucial to meet sustainable development goals around the world. The European Investment Bank and Global Development Network today published analysis of impact investment best practice from across Africa, alongside hosting their largest ever development impact virtual conference.

Social, economic, public health and climate action impact of private sector business and infrastructure investment will be enhanced through knowledge sharing, on both economic analysis and practical solutions, between more than 350 expert participants taking part in this week’s conference. 

The EIB-GDN conference, 'Assessing the Development Impact of Private Sector Impact Investment,' builds on four years of comprehensive research cooperation and in-depth assessment of projects across Africa and the Caribbean.

Over three days, business leaders, civil society representatives and academics will join public, private and philanthropic investors to exchange views and practical examples of how education, health, clean energy, digital and business investment can contribute to lasting social, economic and financial sustainability. Discussions will enable investors and project promoters to contribute to an accelerated and sustainable post-COVID recovery.

Ahead of the conference, the EIB and GDN published new research highlighting the impact of investments in healthcare, microfinance, financial services and other businesses, across Africa, based on analysis by young African economists supported by the EIB.

“Sharing technical expertise and local understanding of successful impact investment that provides an effective and lasting solution to development challenges is even more important given the global COVID pandemic. The European Investment Bank is committed to further strengthening the transformational and sustainable impact of our investment around the world. Our close cooperation with the Global Development Network, details analysis of specific projects and this week’s practical engagement with hundreds of impact development experts, civil society, academic partners and investors from around the world will enable recent success to strengthen future investment that benefits millions of people. I am proud of the EIB’s innovative cooperation with GDN that allows researchers from global partners where we invest to share their expertise to strengthen development impact worldwide.” said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“Improving the impact of local investment is crucial to address social challenges, unlock economic opportunities and ensure a lasting contribution to sustainable development. I am pleased that this close cooperation between the Global Development Network and the European Investment Bank could help mobilize young researchers of developing countries and mentor them to show how approaches and methods of academic research can document impact. Their work has the potential to contribute to more effective investment that benefits vulnerable communities and helps post-COVID economic recovery. Our latest joint research demonstrates that projects across Africa can transform local impact and be a model for global change. Rigorous research can be made a useful companion to impact investing that can help measure, report and improve impact. I look forward to this week’s discussions and learning about local impact experience from experts from around the world.” said Pierre Jacquet, President of the Global Development Network.

Lessons learnt from high-impact investment in Africa strengthening global development

New analysis identifying successful social and economic impact from private sector investment in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal carried out by local researchers and published by the EIB and GDN today demonstrates the lasting contribution of innovative investment.

Enabling African artisans to access international markets, using innovation to provide high-standard affordable maternal and child healthcare and ensuring that microfinance targets the specific needs of poor women are three examples of recently supported EIB investment in Africa that were examined under a set of detailed new studies and shared with global development practitioners to help overcome similar policy challenges faced in countries around the world.

“The global pandemic has changed how businesses in Kenya, across Africa and worldwide interact with customers as transactions become digital. This has strengthened the relevance of our new study and shown how sharing experience and best practice can make a real different during these challenging times.” said Laura Barasa from University of Nairobi, one of the young African researchers whose analysis was included in the new report.

Scaling up high-impact private sector investment worldwide

This week’s conference allows practical academic, economic, social and governance best practice to be shared with social impact fund managers, venture capital investors, microfinance and business investors engaged across Africa and around the world. Discussions will demonstrate how private sector investors can benefit from incorporating impact assessment techniques and considerations and enable investors, project promoters and impact experts to address their own challenges.

Increasing impact focus of global investment partners

The partnership between the European Investment Bank, the Global Development Network, international impact experts and local researchers is a unique worldwide financial and technical engagement.

It has enabled the EIB and its partners to analyse how they are making a lasting difference to local communities through private sector investment in, among others, clean energy, education, health, and digital.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and last year provided EUR 7.8 billion for new investment outside Europe, including EUR 3 billion for public and private investment across Africa.

Background information

  • The shortfall in investments needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals is estimated at about US$2.5 trillion per year (UNCTAD). 
  • The latest joint EIB-GDN studies, 'The impact of private sector projects in Africa: Studies from the EIB-GDN program in Applied Development Finance', is available here
  • Learn more about the  EIB-GDN program in Applied Development Finance

About EIB

The European Investment Bank is the lending arm of the European Union. We are the biggest multilateral financial institution in the world and one of the largest providers of climate finance. We help the economy, create jobs, promote equality and improve lives for EU citizens and for people in developing countries. The EIB Group has two parts: the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. The EIF specialises in finance for small businesses and mid-caps. We have more than 60 years' experience and expertise in project financing. Headquartered in Luxembourg, we have a network of local and regional offices in Europe and beyond.

About GDN

The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high-quality, policy-oriented, social science research in developing and transition countries to promote better lives. It supports researchers with financial resources, global networking, as well as access to information, training, peer review and mentoring. 

For further information, please contact Madhuri Dass Woudenberg, Head of Communications, on or + 91 9350209494