From all of us at New Markets, wishing you happy holidays and a peaceful & healthy new year

Dec 20, 2019

...and to that end, here are five new year’s resolutions from our network.

Combat the lucrative and deadly market for counterfeit medicine

Every year, fake drugs cause at least 100,000 deaths in Africa. In Nigeria, up to 64% of medicine for malaria, Africa’s biggest killer, could be counterfeit. According to WHO, the continent accounts for 42% of all instances of fake and substandard medical products globally.

At outdoor markets, patients and healthcare facilities buy drugs like they would biscuits or tomatoes from unlicensed hagglers. The flourishing trade in prescription drugs resembles a flea market.

Read the full account in the Financial Times from Chibuzo Opara and Adham Yehia, the founders of DrugStoc, one of our partner companies that is leading the fight against counterfeit drugs.

Seize this unprecedented opportunity for investments to achieve impact

Investments dedicated to achieving positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns are growing exponentially. But the industry requires even greater transparency, standardization and stakeholder engagement in order to realize its massive potential - hence our survey.

Our mission is to discover asset owner perspectives, identify needs and create an impact investment product roadmap for 2020 and beyond.

To help achieve this critical objective, we ask all asset owners, whether you’re looking after a pension fund, family wealth or your own assets, to spend 15 minutes between now and January 20, 2020, to complete our survey.

Harness current momentum to reduce pollution

If shipping were a country, it would be the sixth biggest polluter in the world. That’s why from January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization will force the shipping industry to reduce sulphur in fuel from 3 percent right now to half a percent.

The biggest beneficiaries will be children living in coastal regions of Asia and Africa, according to health experts. While people in North America and northern Europe already benefit from low-emission coastal zones that have seen sulphur dioxide levels plummet since 2015, it’s time for the rest of the world to catch up.

Given the effects of air pollution on brain development and the health of our lungs and hearts, what we're about to experience is a global health bonus, and on a scale that has never happened before.

But it’s just the start. With the rules in place, it is now it’s a matter of enforcing compliance and continuing the momentum.

Watch our interview with Master Mariner Alok Sharma, Senior Vice President at Inatech, at the recent ESG and Impact Investing Fund Forum in Amsterdam.


Globalize #MeToo

Two years after the #MeToo Movement revolutionised gender discourse in the West, African women are still being left out of the conversation. That's according to the campaign group, African Women on Board, which urged world leaders at the recent UN General Assembly to better engage African women.

"#MeToo didn't come to the African continent," laments Nkiru Balonwu, a Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of African Women on Board.

Read the full interview in news from our network.

Foster the next leapfrogging for emerging markets and beyond

Off the coast of East Africa, the Seychelles’ MERJ Exchange is the first entity in the world to offer tokenized shares in an initial public offering (IPO).

Tokenization, the process of converting a unit of asset ownership into a digital token on a blockchain, presents investors with opportunities never before seen in financial markets. It can be applied to financial instruments such as equities and bonds, tangible assets such as real estate, and even copyrights attached to intellectual property, authorship, or music.

By combining this model with the effects of distributed ledger technology, MERJ aims to have a significant democratizing effect on global capital markets.

From payment systems to land registry and identity security, 2020 is about developing the massive opportunity represented by blockchain technology.  Look out for our forthcoming book Chain Reaction: How Blockchain Will Transform the Developing World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

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