Savannah Impact Advisory to manage US$75M Ci-Gaba Fund for local SGBs

Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds
Hamdiya Ismaila, newly-announced Fund Manager, Ci-Gaba Fund of Funds

The Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds has announced the appointment of Savannah Impact Advisory as the fund manager for its US$ 75 million (GH¢900million) fund.

The announcement was made during the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) global conference in Accra.

The Ci-Gaba Funds-of-Funds, valued at a million, serves as a blended finance initiative aimed at facilitating local funding for venture funds and small- to medium- enterprises (SMEs) in West Africa to promote inclusive growth.

Ci-Gaba, denominated in local currency, is sponsored by Impact Investing Ghana with backing from the Global Steering Group for Impact Investments, FMO Ventures and the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund of UK International Development.

Savannah Impact Advisory, led by Hamdiya Ismaila, is a highly specialised investment advisory firm with a focus on impact investing and gender-lens investing. Hamdiya and her team bring over 30 years of experience in fund-of-funds management, venture capital and private equity fund structuring and investments across West Africa.

She has worked as General Manager of Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), a Ghanaian fund of funds vehicle established to support emerging managers investing across West Africa and serve on the investment committees of regional funds-of-funds.

Amma Lartey, CEO-Impact Investing Ghana said: “There is an urgent need for effective structures to close the US$331billion SME financing gap in Africa. Ci-Gaba is unlocking local pension funding, currently over US$350billion of assets across sub-Saharan Africa”.

Hamdiya Ismaila said she is honoured to be appointed fund manager for the Ci-Gaba Fund of Funds.

She added: “This opportunity aligns perfectly with Savannah Impact Advisory’s commitment to impact investing and gender-lens investing, and we look forward to making a meaningful contribution to growth of West African venture funds and SMEs”.

Andrew Shaw of FMO Ventures said: “We are delighted to support development in the impact measurement and management matrix of the Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds to ultimately help better-align with other impact investors. This collaboration underscores our commitment to fostering sustainable and inclusive growth in the region”.

From left to right: Giulia Tavolato (IIGh); Hamdiya Ismaila (Savannah Impact Advisory); Robert Haynie (FMO Ventures); Amma Lartey (IIGh); and Abigail Thomson (FMO Ventures) at the ANDE Global Conference in Accra

Mark Lawler, Team Leader of the RISA Fund – a project of UK International Development said: “The RISA Fund is proud to have supported the operational set-up and stakeholder engagements for the Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds. This initiative exemplifies the power of collaboration in addressing financing gaps toward inclusive and sustainable innovation ecosystems in Africa”.

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investments (GSG) has been instrumental from the start in connecting initial funding from the MacArthur Foundation, World Economic Forum, Collaborative for Frontier Finance and other key thought-partners to provide input on the Ci-Gaba Fund-of-Funds’ design.

“Fund of Funds in local currency are hugely valuable. We believe that this initiative will set a valuable precedent for impact investing in the region and beyond,” CEO Cliff Prior said.

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