Featured GIIN Publication

Diverse Perspectives, Shared Objective

Collaborating to Form the African Agricultural Capital Fund

Global Impact Investing Network June 7, 2012 Sapna Shah, Min Pease

Diverse Perspectives, Shared Objective describes the collaboration that resulted in a USD 25 million impact investment into the African Agricultural Capital Fund (AACF). The co-investors--the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, J.P. Morgan, and the Rockefeller Foundation--are members of the GIIN Investors' Council. The U.S. Agency for International Development, a GIIN supporter, provided a guarantee for a portion of AACF and grant funded a technical assistance facility for the fund's investees. The investors, along with the fund manager, Pearl Capital Partners, sought to ensure that AACF would make investments in commercially viable agricultural enterprises with high potential to improve the livelihoods of East African smallholder farmers.

The case study provides an overview of the fund, its primary impact governance mechanisms, and the stakeholders' key risk mitigation strategies. It describes how the diverse stakeholders--a fund manager operating in East Africa, a U.K. foundation, two U.S. foundations, a U.S. government agency, and a global commercial investor--worked together to make an investment that accommodates each of their financial and social objectives. Interviews with representatives of the investors and the fund manager are included to provide additional insight into the motivations and decisions that shaped the investment.