Pro Bono 09 Nov. 2020

Curtis Paris recognised for its pro bono work on Development Impact Bonds in Sahel region of Africa

Curtis Paris has been recognised for its pro bono work on an investment impact project in the Sahel region of Africa, which was shortlisted in the French Bar pro bono Challenge.

Development impact bonds (DIBs) and social impact bonds are a form of structured financing, used to finance socially beneficial projects via performance-based contracts. They transfer risk from the public to the private sector and align project partners on the achievement of meaningful public value. Examples of such public value include helping mothers in poverty achieve healthy births, supporting immigrants and refugees through job training, retrofitting homes.

Impact investors provide the capital to fund projects, which are assessed on the basis of public value outcomes. The government repays the capital if and when the project achieves a successful outcome in terms of public value.

The Sahel project, which was initiated by France’s President Macron comprises structuring innovative impact financings in the context of improving menstrual health in Sahel. The sub-Saharan region, to the north of the Sudanian savanna, includes parts of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan and Eritrea.

The Paris team, led by Jean-Norbert Pontier is highly active in this innovative area of long impact investment, owing to a number of DIB and SIB projects in France and in Africa, representing NGO’s, sponsors, arrangers, European banks and financial institutions, investment funds, performance raters and the French state.