Standard Bank Group has registered a foundation in Jersey to support the African Women Impact Fund initiative (AWIF), which was launched in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and is aimed at uplifting female-led asset management firms and promoting sustainable growth across the African continent.

The foundation’s mandate is to support the AWIF initiative, which aim is to raise up to $1 billion over 10 years (€840 million or £737 million) for women fund managers, who in turn will invest in high-impact businesses and projects across Africa.

The African Women Impact Fund Foundation, established by Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company Jersey Limited, will secure donations from international donors, and will provide support to the AWIF initiative by providing capital technical assistance, capacity building and operational support to the female fund managers who are selected to be part of the innovative Africa Women Impact Fund through a structured development programmes.

Standard Bank Group and MiDA Advisors partnered with UNECA to launch AWIF in 2020 in response to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 8 – which focus on achieving gender equality, decent work and economic growth.

Jonathan Sprigg, Head of Fiduciary Services, International Client Solutions, at Standard Bank, said: “On the African continent, only 5% of fund managers are women. The AWIF will strengthen the economic empowerment of African women and we feel so privileged to be supporting the initiative by administering the AWIF Foundation here in Jersey.”

“We are turning the tables and making women the decision-makers of investable money in Africa. We want women to be on the supply side of money, not only on the demand side,” said Dr. Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa. A key goal of the fund is to empower women financial leaders who will drive economic growth, job creation, and create prosperity.

Charles Molteno, Chief Executive and Jersey Head, International Client Solutions, at Standard Bank, said: “We are very pleased that Jersey was chosen for this structure, which is a great example of how Jersey can be an enabler for impact initiatives such at this.”

In reaction to the announcement and highlighting the popularity of the Jersey Foundation structure, Global Head of Business Development at Jersey Finance, Allan Wood, commented:“This is an innovative announcement from the Standard Bank Group, highlighting the continued appeal of Jersey Foundations being used as a robust structure for facilitating purpose-driven, philanthropic and impact endeavours. Building on our appointment of Dr Rufaro Mucheka earlier this year, this is a move that aligns perfectly with our strategy to deepen our relationship with Africa, help support growth in the continent and champion diversity and inclusion in the asset management space.”

On the African continent, only 5% of fund managers are women. The AWIF will strengthen the economic empowerment of African women and we feel so privileged to be supporting the initiative by administering the AWIF Foundation here in Jersey.

Jonathan Spriggs
Jonathan Spriggs
Head of Fiduciary Services, International Client Solutions, at Standard Bank

This is an innovative announcement from the Standard Bank Group, highlighting the continued appeal of Jersey Foundations being used as a robust structure for facilitating purpose-driven, philanthropic and impact endeavours.

Building on our appointment of Dr Rufaro Mucheka earlier this year, this is a move that aligns perfectly with our strategy to deepen our relationship with Africa, help support growth in the continent and champion diversity and inclusion in the asset management space.”

Allan Wood
Allan Wood
Global Head of Business Development