Bridging the gap

The need for more and better jobs to combat poverty has been exacerbated by the pandemic crisis. Two months ahead of COP26, we are also at a critical juncture to stop the longer-term climate crisis.

At the Norfund Conference 2021 we discussed what must be done to bridge the gaps to protect and create jobs and to enable green growth in developing countries.

Watch the recording here:

Bridging the Gap to Protect and Create Jobs

11.30 – 13.00 (CEST)

Kagera Sugar Limited, Tanzania

Developing countries are hit hard by the pandemic and the effect on employment and economies will be deep and long lasting. Already before the pandemic, more than 10 million African youth were entering the labour force, while only 3 million formal jobs were created – every year. Now that gap is even greater. 

  • What will it take to protect and create and protect jobs at speed and scale in developing countries? And where will the jobs come from? 
  • What role will development finance take in bridging the financing gap for job creation and rebuilding economies? 
WelcomeTellef Thorleifsson, CEO, Norfund
Jobs lost and economies damaged – the view from AfricaCynthia Samuel – Olonjuwon, Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, ILO
Jobs lost and economies damaged – the view from latin AmericaLaura Chinchilla, former President of Costa Rica 
Bridging the gap for talent and entrepreneurs in Africa Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-founder, Flutterwave and Andela, founder and general partner, Future Africa
Unleashing jobs at scale through SMEs – the case of Kenya Anne Mutahi, Senior Advisor to the President of Kenya, SME Development
Bridging the financing gap for companies to create jobs at scale Conversation with: – Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela – Andi Taufan Garuda CEO Amartha (Indonesia) – Ruth Zaipuna, CEO NMB Bank (Tanzania) – Fay Chetna, Regional Director Asia, Norfund Moderated by Erik Sandersen, EVP Financial Institutions, Norfund
Does it work? Measuring the effect on job creation Signe Sørensen, Senior Economist in Norfund
Job creation in practice: The case of Neofresh Conversation with: – Willem Schmidt, CEO Neofresh Mozambique – Ellen Cathrine Rasmussen, EVP Norfund  Moderated by Ylva Lindberg, EVP Strategy & Communications, Norfund
Closing part 1 William Nyaoke, Regional Director East Africa, Norfund

Bridging the Gap to Green Growth

13.30 – 15.00 (CEST)

Access to energy is a precondition for job creation and economic growth in developing countries. To stop the climate crisis this growth must be green – based on renewable energy. This in turn requires enormous investments – a sevenfold annual increase (IEA) – in markets where capital is scarce and expensive. 


  • What will it take to mobilise capital at the scale required to finance green growth in developing countries? And where will the money come from? 
  • How can development finance be a catalyst to bridging the massive financing gap for renewable energy in developing countries? 
Norfund’s contribution to green growth Norfund’s contribution to green growth Simbah Mutasa, Regional Director Southern Africa, Norfund
Norway's next steps to contribute to bridging the gap to green growth Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development
Bridging the poverty gap through access to power – while stopping climate change Hong Hoang, director Change Vietnam
Climate and investments in emerging marketsConversation with: – Nicolai Tangen, CEO, Norges Bank Investment Management – Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO, Macquarie Group – Colin le Duc, Founding Partner, Generation Investment Management – Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO, Norfund Moderated by Ylva Lindberg, EVP Strategy & Communication, Norfund
Bridging the technology gap – what is the next frontier in developing countries? Conversation with: – Ankur Thadani, Partner, TPG Growth and RISE Fund – Mark Davis, EVP Clean Energy, Norfund Moderated by Per Kristian Sbertoli, Head of Public Relations, Norfund
The need for stepping up the efforts – a challenge from the youth Vanessa Nakate, Founder, The Riseup Movement
Bridging the gap to COP26 – what is the role of development finance? Conversation with: – Dag Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development – Anniken Huitfeldt, Chair of the Norwegian Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. Moderated by Per Kristian Sbertoli, Head of public relations, Norfund
Closing of the conference Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO, Norfund


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