AFRICA: New “Afip” platform to invest $500 million in sustainable forestry

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AFRIQUE : la nouvelle plateforme « Afip » investira 500 M$ dans la foresterie durable © Jen Watson/Shutterstock

Four investors are joining forces to launch the African Forestry Impact Platform (Afip). This initiative aims to invest $500 million in the development of sustainable forestry in Africa in response to deforestation.

An initiative is born to develop sustainable forestry in Africa. The African Forestry Impact Platform (AFIP) is being launched by British International Investment (BII), the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (NORFUND), Finnish investor Finnfund and New Forests, a forestry company based in Sydney, Australia. The platform will invest $500 million in sustainable forestry in sub-Saharan Africa.

With an initial investment of $200 million raised by its partners, AFIP, which is managed by New Forests, has already started its activities in Africa. The platform has completed the acquisition of Green Resources, the largest forestry company in East Africa. Until now, the Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) based company was majority owned by Norfund and Finnfund. The proceeds from its sale have been reinvested in the new platform. AFIP is expected to acquire other operational assets in sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years.

Reducing deforestation

According to Norfund, investing in sustainable forestry will help reduce pressure on forests in Africa. The continent has 17 percent of the world’s forests, or just over 636 million hectares of forest cover. According to the Africa Forest and Landscape Restoration Review 2021 published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-Nepad), Africa lost 4.4 million hectares of forest per year between 2015 and 2020.

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Yet 60 million people depend on these forests for their livelihoods. “In addition to the benefits for nature and climate, forestry can contribute significantly to people’s livelihoods, especially in Africa. The forestry sector in Africa has enormous potential for growth, and by partnering with other development finance institutions and New Forests, we believe that together we can bring about the change needed to unlock this potential,” says Jaakko Kangasniemi, Finnfund’s CEO.

The launch of the Afip platform follows a $500 million investment pledge announced by NORFUND, BII, New Forests and Finnfund on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. The four investors received a pledge of technical support from Partnerships for Forests (P4F), a program funded by the British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO).

Jean Marie Takouleu

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