About the event

Join our open session on Accessing Finance for Agricultural Development at the African Agri Investment Indaba. The session will showcase innovative financing solutions that forward-looking investors and support organizations are deploying, testing, and adopting to improve access to finance for smallholders and agri-SMEs. It will explore the challenges in mainstreaming alternative approaches, and in developing a sufficient bankable pipeline.


After an engaging panel discussion, participating investors will be able to assess the business ideas of several agri-food SMEs in a matchmaking investment pitch round.

Session objectives:

  • To share innovative solutions to improving agri-SME finance.
  • To understand the obstacles that prevent additional investment to the sector.
  • To connect high-potential SMEs with interested investors.
  • To engage diverse stakeholders to effectively support the agri-SME ecosystem.



Nadia Martinez, Senior Coordinator, Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)

Nadia leads the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) at IFAD. she is a development leader with 20 years of experience working with global pulic and private institutions in the agricultural finance sector. Nadia has worked extensively with small scale farmers and agri-SMEs, and through various roles, has advised companies, lending institutions, trade associations, NGOs and government agencies in the USA, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.


Andrew Ahiaku, Director and Head of Financial Sector, Aceli Africa

​Andrew is a food and agricultural finance specialist, passionate about inclusive agriculture and access to finance. He previously spent 13 years with Fidelity and Barclays (Absa) Banks in Ghana where he gained experience in corporate & SME banking covering finance lease, relationship management, business development, credit risk, and agricultural lending. He leads Aceli Africa’s engagement with commercial banks to increase their lending to agricultural SMEs and supervises capacity building for both SMEs and lenders.


Nina Hollemann, Advisor Agricultural Finance, GIZ

Nina provides strategic advisory services in agricultural finance and value chain development at GIZ. Her portfolio includes financial inclusion, gender and capacity development concepts for farmers and SMEs in agricultural value chains. She previously worked in Nepal and Cameroon developing and implementing agricultural value chains projects, promoting agricultural finance, and supporting farmer’s organizations with a strong focus of capacity development of farmers and SMEs.


Francisco Marques, Technical Specialist – Private Sector, International Fund for Agricultural Development

Francisco has 13 years of experience in commodity and structured finance with commercial banks and development financial institutions. Currently, he is a technical specialist at IFAD where he develops and manages non-sovereign operations in the Private Sector Advisory and Implementation Unit (PAI). Previously, he worked at the African Development Bank as Senior Investment Officer within the Financial Intermediation and Inclusion Division.


Event Details:

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Organizer: SAFIN | AAC



Summary article:

Investment Discovery Sessions were a notable part of this year’s African Agri Investment Indaba. These sessions, designed to bridge the gap between agrifood project owners and potential investors, have become a focal point for showcasing innovative agricultural projects and facilitating strategic investments. The SAFIN-curated session included short pitches and investor discussions for smaller agribusinesses in Africa…

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