IMPACT Awards 2022

Impact initiative of the year - Africa; Impact project/investment of the year, infrastructure - ARISE IIP

Through its partnerships with governments and investors, pan-African project developer ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) has sought to address what one IMPACT awards judge called a "time old issue" for emerging commodity rich economies: delivering sustainable production and economic growth while providing traceability and certification of supply chains.

To tackle this, ARISE IIP designs, finances and operates what it calls "industrial ecosystems" across Africa.

ARISE IIP has constructed large-scale, tailor-made economic zones in Gabon, Benin and Togo that seek to transform local value chains and help industrialise these countries in an environmentally sustainable way.

IMPACT awards judges were impressed by the way the firm had a "huge impact" throughout 2022 and spurred value-added growth in both agricultural and industrial sectors across West Africa: strengthening the local processing capabilities of existing business, creating job opportunities, and boosting economic growth.

For example, in Gabon, the firm's industrial hub – the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) – has boosted the local timber trade.

As a result of the GSEZ, the value of the country's timber exports has doubled since 2010 (to reach $640 million in 2021), the contribution of the timber sector to Gabon's gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by 2.5 times ($560 million in 2021), and tax revenue collected from the sector has been multiplied by 17 times ($64 million in 2021), according to ARISE IIP.

ARISE IIP has also sought to address sustainability and illegal logging in the region by introducing traceability and certification schemes.

One IMPACT awards judge said that this work showed "great potential" in the way it addresses climate change and income inequality, adding that "strong research backs their model of creating world-class industrial parks that transform local supply chains by boosting efficiency and sustainability".

The judge also noted: "ARISE IIP implements strict sustainable standards in managing raw materials, including traceability, certification, sustainability.

"They have promoted the use of renewable energy, facilitated infrastructure financing and detonated industrialisation potential, as well as offering carbon impact assessment services."

Another judge called ARISE IIP an "innovative organisation" that is "supporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) agendas in high ESG-risk sectors in emerging and frontier markets".

ARISE IIP is part-owned by Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) which describes itself as "facilitating instrumental infrastructure for transformative impact across Africa" and has invested $10.3billion in 36 countries across Africa in several industrial sectors.