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Sustainable resources fund explores opportunities in Africa

Singapore’s geographical position and robust financial & business sectors places the country as an obvious gateway for this opportunity. We have seen the Africa Singapore Business Forum develop in recent years and their next event is to be held on the 29th & 30th of August in Singapore (www.absf.sg), also the inaugural meeting of the new Singapore Africa Business Club (SABC) was held in recent days.

Sustainable Capital S.A. is active with both organisations and Dr Alex Mond, global expert on Sharia finances and Investment Advisor to the Sustainable Resources Fund, recently spoke at the SABC event highlighting investment opportunities where capital and trade can flow both ways between these economically important geographical regions. Dr Alex Mond also commentated that "with food security becoming one of the main challenges for the future survival of nations on the planet - agriculture in Africa is offering huge opportunities".

Andre van Straten of the South African High Commission was particularly interested in the aspect of sustainable agro-forestry investments, and how the Sustainable Resources Fund could work with South Africa. There are several initiatives ongoing within his country, including redevelopment projects launched by President Jacob Zuma to promote food production, agri-business and harvest intensification where partners can gain access to unutilised lands. Yield improvements and higher value agro-forestry crop returns are typical of the political encouragement being given to business expansion in South Africa and the African continent at large. “South Africa sees itself as a powerhouse for Africa” stated Mr van Straten, it generates around twenty-five percent of the continents GDP and is working extensively with other countries to build strong sustainable business, where the emphasis can switch from being a natural resources supplier to a manufactured goods producer for Asia and the global community. Agro Forestry and other sustainable resources fit neatly into this with a growing emphasis of food production and high value timber goods and services being key elements to the Sustainable Resources Fund.

The opportunities around sustainable investment, land and agro-forestry are gaining wider interest from the investment and banking communities. George Mukasa, Head of Wholesale Banking Operational Risk Africa at Standard Chartered Bank described Dr Alex Mond’s presentation at the SABC as an introduction into how “Africasia (Sharia’ Compliant) Funds, presents a unique opportunity . . . . to drive investment on the African continent. The opportunity while unique is built on existing capabilities and not so hard to develop for Land and Agricultural products. It is an alternative innovation that does not completely reinvent the wheel, yet making it a good idea for Africa”

Dr Alex Mond presented the Sustainable Resources Fund as one of the most unique Shariah investment funds with its diversified portfolio of sustainably managed forestry, agriculture, land, biomass and other sustainable resource assets globally. He talked about the fund's investment policy and the many advantages the fund has for regions, distributors and investors, and how the fund will be invested in high growth projects in Asia and Africa combined with lower risk "cash-cow" projects in Europe and North America.

by S. C.
12 july 2012, World News > Africa

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