COP28 Snapshot #2: Investing in the Global South

"We must move away from a post-colonial mindset” says speaker Valerie Ramundo Orlando
COP28 Snapshot #2: Investing in the Global South
Image: Josue Isai Ramos-Figueroa (Unsplash)
In: Sustainability

Tuning in to #COP28 last year, we overheard a fascinating snippet at the tail end of a panel discussion hosted by #TheFemaleQuotient and their #EqualityLounge.

Valerie Ramundo Orlando, Managing Partner at Greensquare Ventures, was passionately calling for a departure from post-colonial mindsets when it comes to investing in emerging markets. She says that as we reimagine the landscape of global investment, the call is clear: “Treat the Global South with the same metrics as Western countries.”

What is the Global South? This term refers to the least developed and least industrialized countries, which are mainly in the southern part of the world.

Beyond the fear of fraud: shifting to equitable investment

Valerie advocates for discarding a speculative mindset and embracing opportunistic partnerships that foster growth. She also addresses the fear of fraud head-on, saying: "We must change our mindset... it's not about trust; it's about recognizing shared humanity and the opportunities that come with it. If we’re investing [in these regions] with the belief that 'we're the same', the perceived risk diminishes."

Dismantling perceived risks

Valerie challenges the foreignness of investing in the Global South, highlighting that risks are on a par with investments in other regions. She adds: “…guess what? There is fraud. Somebody wants to take something from you. Of course, if you have 100 and you give them 'one' and the 'one' comes sporadically, they're going to try to keep that one, whatever the cost! But if you invest in them because you say, “we're the same”, then there are opportunities. So let's take this perception of risk that doesn't exist. Frankly, the risk is the same if I invest in the United States, Southeast Asia or Africa."

Image: Porapak Apichodilok (Pexels)

Addressing and recognizing this risk, according to Valerie, is a crucial step towards a more equitable and sustainable approach to development. This discussion was another great example of the lively, forward-thinking conversations taking place at COP28.

Share your thoughts

Do you agree with this notion of added risk? Do you think investors still carry a post-Colonial mindset? Share your viewpoints below.

Read more in our next blog post: COP28 Snapshot #3: Equality in Focus

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