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We adopt an integrated approach to ESG, applying an equal focus on risk management and positive impact outcomes. We seek to deeply understand the trade-offs posed by investments, being thoughtful in our investment decisions, purposefully acting to be part of the solution in facing global ESG challenges.

Climate Action
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According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible, but would require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society. Overall the report shows there are clear benefits to keeping warming to 1.5°C, rather than the previously thought safe limit of 2°C. ‘Without increased and urgent mitigation ambition in the coming years, leading to a sharp decline in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, global warming will surpass 1.5°C in the following decades, leading to irreversible loss of the most fragile ecosystems, and crisis after crisis for the most vulnerable people and societies’ (IPCC, 2019). We are at crisis point. OMAI wants to be part of the solution for a 1.5°C world. Through the infrastructure capability of African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), with 1,920 MW of installed renewable energy capacity across 30 projects in wind, solar, hydropower and off-grid energy, AIIM is Africa’s largest renewables equity investor.

Energy
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CARBON FOOTPRINT
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SOCIAL - employment
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While the global unemployment rate in 2018 was 5%, and youth were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults (United Nations, 2019), South Africa’s unemployment rate was 27% at the end of 2018 with South Africa’s youth aged 15–24 years being the most vulnerable in the South African labour market as the unemployment rate among this age group was 55,2% in the 1st quarter of 2019 (Stats SA, 2019). We cannot meaningfully address other environmental or social challenges without solving decent employment.
A job provides individuals with the ability to be in control of their own livelihood and financial circumstances. Productivity and meaningful work stimulates the mind, increases confidence and enhances social interactions. Meaningful work gives us a sense of pride, identity and personal achievement. Along with benefiting individuals, it also contributes to a healthy, dynamic economy and society, decreasing social ills of poverty and crime.
Across Africa unemployment is constantly a concern, with youth skills shortages and unemployment being key challenges to solve. Our goal is to increase the number of jobs, provide decent, meaningful work and enhance the skills of individuals across all our investments. OMAI is proud to have invested in over 32,000 jobs at the end of 2019.

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Social - Gender
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Gender equality is not just board representation and percentage of a workforce. It is not simply a numbers game. In our business, we can be at risk of viewing gender equality as only these things. It is far broader with nuanced, complex facets and ultimately relates to real people. It includes aspects of human rights, female abuse, female violence, female genital mutilation, female discrimination, and political and economic participation.
While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, states that gender equality and empowering women and girls is ‘the unfinished business of our time’.
Four key outcomes that a fund manager such as OMAI can start with include gender equality at the board, gender equality in overall employee representation, equal pay and implementation of gender-related polices such as anti-sexual harassment.

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SOCIAL - transformation
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For all OMAI’s South African-based investments, transformation is the process and aim to redress past discrimination against historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs). The objective is to have a company’s workforce mirror the demographic make-up of the country. Portfolio companies implement transformation and employment equity plans. The overall representation of 77% of HDSAs across the jobs created by OMAI investments is strong progress, but with further room for positive change. The 37% and 18% HDSA representation in management by male and female employees respectively is a key area where further strides of reducing inequalities are needed. This will continue to be a focus area for OMAI going forward.

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WATER
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All life depends on water. Every economy depends on water. Africa is the world´s second-driest continent after Australia. Combined with having uneven rainfall in many of its countries, makes water a critical resource. The amount of fresh water on earth is limited, with the quality being critical. Water quality can be compromised by the presence of infectious agents, toxic chemicals and radiological hazards.
‘We need to realise that water does not come from a dam, a pipe or a tap’. – WWF SA
We can no longer solve our water issues by simply building more dams or canals. We need to rehabilitate and maintain natural areas that are sources of water for our cities and farms, and rethink how we use water. Vast numbers of critical wetlands, rivers and aquifers, nature’s water storage and filtering powerhouses, have been drained, dammed and polluted, diminishing the function of these natural systems to provide us with clean water. (WWF SA) OMAI tracks and seeks to drive a decrease of relative water consumption and an increase in the amount of recycled water used. These numbers will be the baseline for future performance tracking.

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Governance
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We believe that good governance lies at the heart of a sustainable business that delivers returns for all stakeholders, including shareholders, lenders, employees, suppliers and the communities in which we invest. As a responsible investor, OMAI maintains a continual focus on governance aspects in investment decision making and active stewardship of assets. OMAI applies good governance practices in all portfolio companies, across various African jurisdictions, with adherence to local governance-related laws and a reference to the King IV Report on good corporate governance.

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