Grow Africa has supported the implementation of US $1.5 billion of investment into African agriculture from companies that have committed over US $10 billion in investments through Letters of Intent to invest. In all countries except Kenya and Rwanda, these Letters of Intent are part of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a voluntary document signed by a private sector actor outlining a commitment to invest in agriculture. LOIs are not binding contracts to invest.
Critical characteristics of LOI s include:
- alignment with host country CAADP Framework strategies;
- measurable investment targets, including a dollar figure to be invested and a number of smallholders to be reached, either directly or indirectly;
- development impacts alongside business bottom line impacts;
- a commitment to socially responsible investment;
- commitment to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and Grow Africa processes;
Public summaries of each LOI are available in relevant Cooperation Frameworks.
- Drives Investment Commitments: Works with international and domestic private sector investors - mostly agri-business companies - to implement committed investments totalling US $10 billion from over 200 companies.
- Supports Improvements in the Enabling Environment: Works with national governments in order to identify and address weaknesses in the enabling environment that must be overcome to attract private-sector investment that leads to inclusive economic growth.
- Addresses Systemic Issues: Identifies pan-African systemic constraints to implementing private sector investments and convenes Working Groups to develop solutions.
- Shares Best Practice: Facilitates best practice sharing through a variety of channels including communities of practice and an annual investment forum.
Grow Africa’s approach catalyses multi-stakeholder collaboration, through activities that deliver the following outcomes:
- Country transformation: Helping country partners establish the elements for unlocking transformative investment.
- Specific Investments: Mobilising and supporting partners to advance on-the-ground investments that generate shared value.
- Committed partners: Catalysing collaboration and elevating accountability between partners committed to African agriculture.
- Knowledge: Supporting partners across Africa overcome constraints to investment through innovation, learning and tools.
Grow Africa’s work particularly focuses on helping smallholders and domestic companies succeed commercially. Smallholders dominate African production, and increasing their viability is central to both economic and development outcomes. Domestic companies are the keystone of inclusive value chains, offering vehicles for value addition, job creation, and smallholder aggregation.
In consultation with its key stakeholders, Grow Africa established four broad goals that guide the allocation of the Secretariat’s resources. Accelerate the pace of implementation and return on committed investments
- Develop and support multi-stakeholder platforms for collaboration and for scaling agricultural value chains
- Incubate promising business models for responsible agricultural investments
- Co-develop and promote innovative solutions to systemic issues hindering responsible agricultural investments
We measure the success of investment commitments generated through Grow Africa against:
- Quantity of actual investment expenditure
- Number of jobs created
- Number of smallholders with increased incomes
Grow Africa generates investment to achieve the goals of Africa’s plan for agriculture - the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).
Grow Africa welcomes companies which demonstrate a commitment to agricultural transformation in Africa to join the platform. Companies can join by signing Letters of Intent (LOIs) to invest, which signal a company’s commitment to responsible, inclusive and sustainable agricultural investment in Africa.
Main Characteristics of a Letter of Intent:
- Addressed to the government of the country in which the investment is planned to take place
- Not a binding contract to invest
- Confidential between the company, the receiving government and Grow Africa
- Represented in the public domain through an agreed and approved public summary of the investment project
Grow Africa’s focus is to support the private sector in a collaborative approach to do business and ensure that the commitments outlined in the LOIs can be converted into real investments on the ground in each country.
Grow Africa promotes the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems which have been agreed through a multi-stakeholder consultation process by the Committee on World Food Security.