Impact investment pioneer Acumen Fund announced today that it is supporting low-income communities in Ghana with new investments in land rights and agriculture. The new Acumen Fund West Africa office will be based in Accra, Ghana.
The first investments in West Africa include a US$1 million loan to Medeem Ghana, Ltd (Medeem), which aims to strengthen property rights for the poor, and a US$1.5 million equity investment in GADCO Coöperatief U.A. (GADCO), an integrated agri-food company.
Catherine Casey, Global Expansion Manager of Acumen Fund, has led the startup of the Acumen Fund West Office and will be leading Acumen’s global expansion to at least 3 regions by 2015. Taking over now as West Africa Director is Godfrey Mwindaare who holds over a decade experience in investment banking, commercial banking and development finance.
Social enterprise Medeem has developed an innovative approach to meet the challenges of land rights in Ghana. Low-income communities in Ghana do not have a formal claim to land due to a combination of differing cultures and traditions, means of acquiring land, and legal pluralism. As a result, individuals are denied the security of knowing their land cannot be seized from them and have no incentive to invest in their property. Medeem has a proprietary product called ParcelCert that documents a client’s claim of land rights. Eventually, clients can demand basic government services and use their land as collateral for loans.
GADCO aims to develop a reliable local food market and ensure environmental sustainability of Ghana’s agricultural land. With rice becoming an important part of the Ghanaian diet and almost 70% of its rice are imported from abroad, there are food security concerns. GADCO plans to operate a modern hub farm to provide farmers production services, inputs, and access to consumer markets.
The investments are part of Acumen Fund’s goal of impacting the lives of 150 million people by 2015.
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