Norfund Conference 2024

February 9, 2024

This year’s conference was co-hosted with EDFI, the Association of European Development Finance Institutions, as an extension of the organization’s annual general assembly taking place in Oslo. See recordings and pictures from the conference here!

Our host Ann Nkatha, Norfund’s Office Manager in Nairobi, guided us through the program.

Below you will find recordings of the discussions between international experts, Norwegian politicians and leaders, EDFI members and Norfund’s own team and portfolio companies on these topics:

  • Growth and poverty reduction
  • The transition to net zero
  • Investing in conflict zones
  • Successful investment strategies
  • How tech can reach unbanked businesses


Opening performance by the Kenyan-Norwegian dance group, Matata Crew!

As well as opening remarks from our very own CEO, Tellef Thorleifsson.

The importance of DFIs for a world in transition

A conversation about Norfund’s role in reducing poverty through private sector strengthening, particularly in Africa, emphasizing a shift from aid to trade and the importance of risk-willing investments in areas like renewable energy.

  • Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO in Norfund
  • Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Foreign Affairs

When growth does – and does not – reduce poverty

Presentation of the findings from a new report on growth and poverty reduction, followed by a panel discussion about the findings and their implications.

  • Paddy Carter, Head of Development Economics, British International Investment (BII)
  • Maria Håkansson, CEO of Swedfund
  • Luuk Zonneveld, Board Chair of EDFI

Getting to zero: To go green you have to get your hands dirty

How do companies and investors address the dilemmas and potential pitfalls of achieving both inclusive growth and transitioning to net zero?

  • Ifeoma Dike, Head of ESG, Crossboundary Energy
  • Clara Barby, Senior Partner, Just Climate

Investing for peace: How can investors make a difference in conflict zones?

How far into armed conflicts can investors make a real difference? Where are the opportunities and what are the limitations to what can be done through development finance?  

  • Raymond Johansen, Secretary General, Norwegian People’s Aid
  • Agnes Dasewicz, COO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
  • David Mithika, CEO, Kinyeti Venture Capital Limited

Interview with Nicolai Tangen

A conversation about the ingredients of a successful investment strategy, the importance of patient capital, constructive friction and of sometimes being contrarian.

  • Nicolai Tangen, CEO of NBIM, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund
  • Ylva Lindberg, Executive VP, Strategy & Communication in Norfund

Beyond the hype: How tech can reach unbanked businesses

New technology has revolutionized the finance industry, but lack of access to finance remains a key obstacle to growth and poverty reduction. While small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 7 out of 10 jobs in developing countries (World Bank), an estimated 43% of them have unmet financing need, impeding their growth (IFC). How can new financial solutions provide affordable finance to unbanked and underbanked businesses and create more jobs?

  • Carol Oyedeji, Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria
  • Prasanna Rao, Co-founder and CEO, Arya
  • Dino Setiawan, Chief Executive Officer, AwanTunai

Closing remarks and end show

With our host Ann Nkatha and Michael Jongeneel, CEO in FMO.

Followed by a closing performance by Matata Crew.