The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has won the Africa Pension Fund Infrastructure Investment Initiative of the Year Award, beating other top pension funds on the continent.
The NSSF Chief Investments Officer, Gerald Paul Kasaato, received the award on behalf of the Fund during the Africa Investor Infrastructure Development Summit held in Durban, South Africa early this week.
The Fundwas recognized along with other global pension funds as well as leading pension fund personalities, for efforts made so far and being made in investments in the infrastructure space.
NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said that the award is another milestone for the Fund for its prudent, yet aggressive investment strategy.
“We are glad that our investment efforts such as the upcoming UN Model Project, the Off taker project in Real Estate, contractor financing and our investment on PTA Bank to finance infrastructure have been recognised. As a Fund, we are delighted but not surprised by this award,” Byarugaba said.
In November last year, the Fund made an additional investment of about Ugx 59.4 billion in Umeme Limited, effectively increasing its stake in the company from 15.5% to 23%. The Fund also invested in PTA Bank, which predominantly supports infrastructure funding.
“We have become a benchmark for the social security industry in the East Africa region and we are steadily climbing the ladder to the top on the African continent,” he added.
Byarugaba said the Fund is committed to preserving and growing the value of its members’ savings, by paying a real rate of return above the 10 year inflation average, driven by an aggressive investment strategy within Uganda and East Africa.
The Fund has over the last 5 years consistently surpassed its target on interest payment to its members. Last year, the Fund paid an interest rate of 12.3%, which was higher than the 10-year average rate of inflation rate of 8.6%.
This is the second time that the Fund is recognised at a continental and global level for its investments. In 2015, the Fund won the African Pension Leadership Initiative of the Year Award for its diversification efforts in the equity space.
Commenting on the award, CEO of Africa Investor Hubert Danso said for Africa to realise its economic potential, it is critical that long-term industries, such as infrastructure, energy and transport, provide the groundwork for private equity transaction growth and job creation in Africa.
“We are therefore delighted to recognise the leading role that institutional investors and, more especially, international and domestic pension funds play in these transformative investments in Africa. We salute all the winners, both pension fund leaders and institutional institutions,” Danso said.
Africa Investor Summit partners include the World Pensions Council, the Institutional Limited Partners Association, the African Pension Fund Network and the African Securities Exchanges Association, amongst other prestigious institutions.