The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC Group) – the UK’s development finance institution mandated to finance businesses across Africa and South Asia to create sustainable economic growth and jobs – is hosting a four-day workshop in Lagos focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) implementation, in partnership with Norfund.
The workshop has convened over 60 private equity fund managers and their portfolio companies’ leadership teams from across the continent, with a practical focus on problem-solving and learning how to persuade company management to prioritise and quantify how ESG considerations link to sustainable and long-term impact.
Participating companies include leading Nigerian private equity managers such as Africa Capital Alliance and Verod Capital Management, alongside pan-African private equity firms including AfricInvest. More than 160 participants are taking part, including fund managers, investment officers, board members, ESG officers, impact officers, managing directors, and human resources directors and managers at portfolio company level.
Benson Adenuga, Head of Office and Coverage Director, Nigeria, CDC Group noted, “ESG is the cornerstone of a more sustainable future for Nigerians, be it in terms of job creation and quality or a less polluted and safer environment for the next generation. This week’s technical trainings have equipped participants with the skills and knowledge required to translate this vision into reality.”
The training included a wide range of modules covering the integration of ESG into investment cycles, the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards, implementing environmental and social management system within portfolio companies, measuring impact, and addressing novel issues such as data privacy or the circular economy.
The programme also included a session on effective workforce management to drive business success, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across corporate value chains, as well as a module on the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. Finally, the workshop included a board level training on ESG and business integrity, which focused on how board and senior executive directors can take responsibility for the sustainability agenda within their companies.
This initiative forms part of CDC’s mission to share best practice and educate fund managers across the continent.
Alex Ekpiken, Vice President & (outgoing) ESG Manager, Verod Capital, noted “CDC’s ESG training programme comes at an important time for the sustainability agenda, which is now at the front and centre of the private equity industry in Nigeria and across the continent. As the programme has shown, implementing rigorous ESG standards makes sense not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it leads to better commercial performance.”
Guy Alexander, Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility, CDC Group commented, “We are delighted to have convened such a broad range of fund managers from Nigeria and across the continent. There is a real appetite among fund managers to learn more about ESG and its implementation, both within funds and portfolio companies. We are encouraged by this enthusiasm and look forward to continuing supporting private equity firms and their portfolio companies at a time when ESG and sustainability are becoming more important than ever.”
About CDC Group:
CDC Group plc (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation, and previous to that, the Colonial Development Corporation (CDC Group) is the world’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in Africa and South Asia.
- CDC is a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.
- The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies with total net assets of £5.8bn and a portfolio of £4.3bn. This year CDC will invest over $1.5bn in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people.
- CDC is funded by the UK government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.
- CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.
- CDC provides flexible capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses’ needs. It can invest across all sectors, but prioritises those that help further development, such as infrastructure, financial institutions, manufacturing, and constructions. Find out more at www.cdcgroup.com