Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year
It has been an interesting and exhilarating year for the Common Fund, and we would like to thank all our Member countries, Partners and all our friends for their support and openness of all your suggestions and feedback on all our work done. With this, we are confident that we will be able to overcome all challenges, to overcome the conditions and uncertainty prevailing in the global markets. We are proud that we are gaining recognition as the leader of impact investing in the commodity sector, creating opportunities for the SDG-conscious investors to put their resources in the future of Commodity Dependent Developing Countries.
Achievements in 2017
The core of our work is commodity development as enshrined in our Agreement to enhance impact of our projects. In the year 2017, we received nearly 200 interesting project proposals, and were able to approve 17 projects to finance implementation of the same in countries such as Burkina Faso, Malawi, Peru, Sri Lanka and many others.
We have also worked consistently to expand and support our current project portfolio to deliver on their promises of achieving a sustainable development impact:
- Scaling Smallholders based Premium Coffee Production (COOPAC) (CFC/2014/05/0079), Country: Congo & Rwanda
- Kupanua Project – Asili Farms Ltd., Uganda (CFC/2015/07/0078)
- Startup of Innovative Agriculture Finance Company for Cocoa, Philippines (CFC/2016/08/0064)
Sustainable Development Goals and Commodities in the 2030 Agenda
The adoption of the 2030 Development Agenda and the SDGs is rapidly changing the landscape of development finance today. For the first time, we have a common language shared by governments, private sector, and civil society about supporting investing in sustainable future for all.
As you all would agree, the CFC must be part of this. Our projects connect investors and commodity companies in CDDCs. To bridge the expectations gap, we need our participating partners to consistently report on their impact, and we will communicate actively with the global community of impact investors. To enhance our outreach to private funds, in 2017 the CFC has become a member of Toniic, an association of family offices, high net worth individuals and investments funds who share the common values of impact investing.
Focus on Good Projects
It is estimated that nearly 90 trillion dollars is needed to globally achieve the SDGs. The amount is gigantic, but the private impact investing creates hope that this is achievable. However, it is universally recognized that the main constraint for impact investing is not the financial resources but lack of investment opportunities.
I would therefore express the SDG challenge as follows: we must find 90 trillion dollars’ worth of investable and sustainable projects. Common Fund works meticulously to find and select such projects in CDCCs. This brings resources to CDDCs, where there is a need, consistently with SDGs, unlocking the potential of commodity sector for development.
Achieving Material Impact
Finding such good projects will be our main challenge for 2018 and we hope to expand our efforts in this. It is not only about finance; we need to strive to identify, evaluate and make a material assessment of the impact of our projects so we can say with confidence that they contribute to SDGs. We started on this road few years back, and in 2018 we expect to further enhance discussion and expand results on impact reporting for our portfolio.
Service to Member Countries
As we look forward to your continued support in 2018, we strive to develop new and better ways to be of Service to all our Member Countries to meet their rising expectations. We aim to make our work more known in the global development community and the UN, and we aim to make non-member countries aware of the CFC goals and objectives and hope they will join us as Members.
We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas so we can better deliver on the SDG 17 – creating partnerships for sustainable development.
We wish you a happy holiday season, and a successful and prosperous New Year!