Norfund conference 2022: Challenges and Dilemmas

The need for investments in developing countries is perhaps greater than ever. But succeeding with such investments is not easy. As we mark our 25th anniversary, the Norfund Conference will be a conversation about the challenges and dilemmas we face in our mission to create jobs and improve lives.  

  • Date: August 30, 2022
  • Time: 12-16.00 followed by mingling
  • Location: Det Gamle Biblioteket

The conference is by invitation only. Please register using the link you received via email, or contact rsvp@norfund.no to receive it again.

Together with international experts, Norfund’s own experienced team, representatives of our partners and investee companies, as well as leading Norwegian politicians, we will take a deeper look at:

  • How do we know if we make a difference?
  • Scaling renewables – at what cost?
  • Should we stay or should we go? 
  • Can a commercial investor make a lasting difference in African agriculture?

How do we know if we make a difference? 

Since the establishment in 1997, Norfund’s purpose has been to help build viable, profitable companies that would not otherwise be funded due to the high risk involved. As a core part of Norwegian development aid, we are also expected to demonstrate the development impact of our investments. 

However, collecting correct and meaningful data is difficult, not least for our portfolio companies. And can we ever really know what would have happened without Norfund as an investor? 

After 25 years of investments, how far have we come in demonstrating that Norfund makes a difference?

Moderator: Signe Sørensen, Senior Economist, Norfund

Panel:

  • Paddy Carter, Director, Development Impact Research & Policy, British International Investment
  • Håvard Nygaard, Director, Department for Knowledge, Norad
  • TBC

Scaling renewables – at what cost? 

To limit the climate crisis and combat poverty, we need a dramatic buildup of renewable energy in developing countries. With the new climate mandate, Norfund will be a part of the solution. 

At the same time, building renewable energy at this scale requires vast amounts of space and land.  

How can we build enough renewable energy to stop the climate crisis and at the same time protect nature and livelihoods?  

Moderator: Per Kristian Sbertoli, Head of Public Relations, Norfund

Panel:

  • Karoline Andaur, CEO, WWF Norway
  • Ishita Chelliah, Director and Group Head of ES & HS, BECIS
  • Marianela González, E&S Advisor, Norfund
  • Damien Berlioz, Senior Investment Manager, Norfund

Should we stay or should we go?  

Investing in challenging markets is part of Norfund´s mandate and sometimes that entails countries with political unrest and even armed conflict.  

On the other hand, when wars break out or democratic regimes are toppled, it may place us in extremely challenging dilemmas. 

How should an investor like Norfund act when things really fall apart?  

Moderator: Ylva Lindberg, Executive Vice President – Strategy & Communication, Norfund

Panel:

  • Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council
  • Fay Chetnakarnkul, Regional Director Asia, Norfund
  • TBC

Can a commercial investor make a lasting difference in African agriculture? 

Scaling up agriculture is essential for poverty reduction in Africa. Increasing food, energy and fertilizer prices makes growth and productivity in food production even more critical – and difficult.  

Investing in this sector comes at substantial risk. Many investors have failed, and banks are reluctant to lend. 

Is it possible to combine contributing to the development of the African agriculture sector with financial returns? 

Moderator: Ellen Cathrine Rasmussen, Executive Vice President – Scalable Enterprises, Norfund

Panel:

  • Representative of AgDevCo (tbc)
  • Representative of Ecobank (tbc)

Panel discussion with politicians

Moderator: Heikki Holmås, Chief Sustainability Officer, Multiconsult

Panel:

  • Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, Centre Party (tbc)
  • Dag Inge Ulstein, Member of Parliament, Christian Democratic Party
  • Ingrid Fiskaa, Member of Parliament, Socialist Left Party