Seasoned consultant Herald Bonnici has emphasised the role that investors have in improving the livelihoods of others through sovereign funds and private capital.
This came after he attended the second annual meeting of the Africa Sovereign Investors Forum (ASIF) in Kigali, Rwanda, where participants discussed the future of Africa and the investment landscape. The event highlighted the investment opportunities and challenges in Africa, together with the importance of collaboration among local stakeholders to deliver on sustainable development goals. Mr Bonnici attended the event on behalf of NOUV, a company he acts as Senior Advisor of, and was accompanied by Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Mark Aquilina.
As he was heading back from the meeting on Saturday, Mr Bonnici noted that he “cannot but ponder upon the responsibility investors have to bettering livelihoods”. He explained that the combination of sovereign funds and private capital through “targeted actions like public-private partnerships (PPPs) and fund of funds activities are two sure ways that can achieve such an outcome”.
“Sovereign Wealth Funds act as future generations’ funds, preserving assets entrusted to them and ensuring a social and financial return. Some funds are bountiful with capital and free cashflows. Others require strategic leveraging where assets are securitised and the value unlocked,” he added.
Mr Bonnici remarked that he was happy to follow the sessions’ proceedings, where a “shift from developmental aid to capital flows is evident across the continent”.
“A cross-country sectorial programme allows a scalable deal flow which acts a risk mitigation mechanism by itself,” he explained.
He acknowledged that economic disparities can ultimately only be addressed by a “sustained investment programme” that successfully combines “determination, commitment and innovation”.
Mr Bonnici proceeded to commend the African Development Bank Group, the African Union, the Africa50 Infrastructure Investment Platform, the African Private Capital Association, and other organisations for the work that is being done across several institutions in Africa.
“One can look into tapping in other institutions which may traditionally have not been associated with financing but whose knowledge and expertise may be useful. Let it be a mission with a purpose,” he said.
He also thanked the meeting’s hosts, the Agaciro Development Fund, led by CEO Gilbert Nyantanyi, for the hospitality, together with ASIF Chairman Obaid Amrane. “May this be a continuation of a better future for us and the upcoming generations,” Mr Bonnici explained.
Concluding, he noted that he will treasure his stay in Rwanda with a “thousand hills and a million smiles”, adding that there is a “spark in its people”.
Mr Bonnici is vastly experienced in managing a portfolio of investments at CEO level and was the Founder and Chief Operations Officer of a foundation that acts as a collaborative network for sovereign wealth funds in the European, Middle East and North Africa region.
He is currently Head of Operations at Von der Heyden Group and a Senior Advisor at NOUV. Aside from that Mr Bonnici is also Managing Consultant at HB Business Advisory and holds various Non-Executive Directorship positions at a number of firms.
Herald Bonnici / LinkedIn
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