10th Sankalp Africa Summit, Kenya – Fireside chat: The Secret to Adaptation Investment

On March 1st and 2nd 2023  the 10th Sankalp Africa Summit took place in Nairobi, Kenya. Climate change is happening and adapting to its effects is crucial for the survival of humanity. The private sector has a critical role to play in contributing to climate change adaptation, designing and pivoting business models to have a substantial contribution to adaptation efforts.  Despite their visible impact, there is a continuous struggle to raise capital to scale while on the other end impact investors interested in building an adaptation portfolio struggle to build a pipeline. What is the missing middle? The Secret to adaptation investment” was a session curated by GIZ and DFC at the Sankalp Africa Summit. The panel session brought together stakeholders including investors, adaptation & resilience businesses, and intermediary institutions to discuss the experience in promoting the adaptation ecosystem in different capacities.


Panel Participants 

Eric Onchoga (Irrihub) | Martin Kiilu (Growth Africa) | Rebecca Mincy (Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund) | Luni Libes (Africa Eats) | Peter Fry (Kua Ventures) 


Panel Summary 

Eric as an innovator highlighted the challenges associated with raising funds, partly due to the fact that businesses such as Irrihub are often perceived as high-risk business models. Many investors are not very familiar (yet) with the issue of climate change adaptation, which makes adaptation investments a learning journey for both sides. Meanwhile, for ARAF as a fund with a strong agriculture and adaptation lens, a sharp narrative on adaptation impact is a core investment criterion, next to the sustainability of the business model and proof of commercial returns. Martin of Growth Africa, an Enterprise Support Organisation (ESO), stressed that money is not a silver bullet to address the challenges SMEs are facing. In underdeveloped markets like what the African continent faces, businesses need more than financial investments to thrive. There is a need for businesses to appreciate business coaching and take advantage of programs like PrivABoo and Growth Africa Accelerator programs to prepare for fundraising.  



As both Luni and Peter stressed, SMEs have a journey to make and questions to tackle before they are ready to pitch to investors – it is critical to know the investor and investor landscape on the one hand but to also know your own business, have your mission and vision straight, understand your customers, your company culture, and the competitive landscape. Ideally, this preparation is already done by the time companies need an investor – the easiest time to approach investors is when companies are in no actual need of them. A common mistake companies tend to make is asking for too much money – as a rule of thumb, according to Luni, your ask should not exceed your revenues made over the last 12 months, especially for a start-up. There are risks associated with putting too much money into a business too early, and/or putting it in the wrong place. It is critical for companies to be able to turn the investments into revenues in order to sustain themselves – as Martin put it, “the best money comes from customers”.  

Recent News

Global Programme HMCCC: Share-Fair Event

The GIZ’s Global Programme on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change celebrated the end of the first Programme phase. For this, partners from the Philippines, East and West Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean came together at the GIZ Campus Röttgen in Bonn. The three-day long event took place from 24th until 26th October and incorporated a networking experience on the last day with experts from politics, decision-making, academia and civil society.

Read More »

New e-learning course on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change

The newly developed eLearning course by GIZ in collaboration with UN University is now available! In this interactive self-paced course, policy makers, development professionals, researchers and students will learn how climate change influences human mobility. By introducing key concepts like climate related migration, disaster displacement, planned relocation and trapped populations, this training will build capacities needed to consider human mobility in the context of climate change (HMCCC) in your respective field of work. The training showcases diverse examples from different countries on the phenomena of HMCCC as well as options how to manage it.

Read More »

New movie series “Living Adaptation” is out now!

Now available on Adaptation Community: The new movie series “Living Adaptation” showcases best practice examples of climate change adaptation measures in agriculture and rural development. It contains four short video clips presenting best practices from GIZ India, Madagascar, Ethiopia, and a regional project in southern Africa. The accompanying overarching movie, titled “Pathways to Climate Resilient Agri-Food Systems” and published by BMZ, briefly introduces the topic of climate change adaptation in agriculture and rural development more broadly – and gives a quick glimpse into the various country experiences.

Read More »

2nd cohort of the Private Investment in Adaptation Bootcamp (PrivABoo) kicks off

During June and July 2023, Private Adaptation Finance (PAF) organized the kick-off events for the second cohort of the Private Adaptation Investment Bootcamp (PrivABoo) program. The main objective of these events was to formally launch the program and outline the activities and expected outcomes for 18 selected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Pakistan.

Read More »