Nairobi, Kenya: KawiSafi today announced the growth of its leadership team with the official appointment of Baafour Otu Boateng as Investment Director. In a strategic move to increase the impact of the investments on the continent, Baafour joins KSV having amassed 9 years of experience within the impact investment sector in Africa. In our first KawiSafi voices series where you will hear stories and insights from our team, here is our feature with Baafour.

KSV: Why did you choose to join KawiSafi Ventures (KSV)?

I am drawn to audacious visions for Africa that are grounded in tangible execution. KawiSafi presents the opportunity to join an excellent team focused on investing in the growth of low-carbon businesses that deliver mitigation and adaptation impact at scale across Africa. KSV’s mission is ambitious, KSV’s people are passionate and pragmatic, and KSV’s outcomes would deliver meaningful impact in the lives of millions of Africans.

KSV: Where were you before joining KSV?

I spent the last nine years as an Investment Director at Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), an impact investing group focused on SMEs in Africa. In this role, I invested in businesses across several themes including energy transition, healthcare, technology, financial inclusion, and agribusiness. Prior to I&P, I worked as a Volunteer Consultant at TechnoServe, mentoring and supporting start-up entrepreneurs in Ghana. I started my career as an investment banking analyst at UBS Investment Bank in New York.

I currently serve as a Board Director at World Vision International and as Board Director and Lead Expert at Impact Investing Institute (UK).

KSV: Why are you passionate about climate change?

Africa accounts for the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions but is the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts. This is a fact, and this is unjust. I am passionate about driving the conversation about a Just Transition that focuses not on a sense of victimhood, but on the larger opportunity set that climate finance and climate action offers to empower entrepreneurs and economies in Africa.

KSV: What is your take on the trajectory of climate/green financing in Africa?

Unfortunately, the current trajectory of climate financing in Africa is not promising. According to a recent Bloomberg NEF report, investment in renewable energy in Africa fell to an 11-year low in 2021, comprising just 0.6% of the global total. This is disheartening especially because emerging innovations from climate entrepreneurs on the ground are producing cost-effective solutions that can scale across the continent. To correct the status quo, the talk about blended finance needs to be translated into concrete action to crowd in more private capital.

KSV: What advice would you give entrepreneurs who are building innovations to mitigate climate change in Africa?

Building business in Africa is not easy. It is usually not hype-worthy at the start, and it takes a compelling combination of grit and innovation. I am always in awe of entrepreneurs who deploy resilience and adaptability to build businesses that address climate mitigation and adaptation in the African ecosystem. These men and women are the pioneers of a new industrial revolution. KSV exists to provide the patient capital that would allow these entrepreneurs to succeed and thrive as they explore new frontiers.

KSV: What climate technologies and innovations are you most bullish about for deployment in African markets?

I am excited about the potential of e-mobility, particularly in the 2-wheeler segment in Africa. The seeds to disrupt this $10 billion market are already being planted through rapid innovation for a mass market that is only expected to expand. In addition, I believe that energy-efficient low-carbon solutions have the potential to drive wide- scale industrialization in manufacturing, cooling, agriculture, and recycling. The theme of climate-positive productivity will have long-term beneficial effects on mitigation and job creation for millions of Africans on the continent.

About KawiSafi Ventures

KawiSafi Ventures (KSV) is a fund that was created to unlock the potential of renewable off-grid energy as a faster, cheaper, and cleaner way to bring power to off grid communities in Africa. KSV aims to achieve social and environmental impact by enabling access to clean energy products and services to underserved communities in developing economies. By building scalable solutions that demonstrate a better way to electrify Africa, the fund will contribute to solving energy poverty while helping to avert the long-term climate crisis.

The Fund was created and developed by Acumen, an internationally recognized pioneer of impact investing that has invested more than $115 million in companies solving some of the biggest challenges of global poverty. After a decade of investing more than $20 million of patient capital across the off-grid ecosystem, Acumen recognized the powerful potential of decentralized renewable energy solutions, both in terms of investment and impact.