Through its partnership with TrustWorks Global, One Earth Future will leverage its long-time support to small and medium-sized enterprises in the Somali region and beyond to multiply the positive impacts of its investments on peace and stability.
[Colorado, December 2023] One Earth Future (OEF) Foundation, an implementing partner specializing in sustainable solutions in fragile and conflict-affected settings, is pleased to announce that it is providing seed funding to TrustWorks Global to kick-start the pilot of the pioneering PeaceEYE program.
PeaceEYE is a data analytics-informed conflict sensitivity methodology designed to provide companies and investors in fragile and insecure settings with an ongoing, in-depth understanding of conflict dynamics that will enable them to foster peace-promoting operations, supply chains, and investments. Co-developed by TrustWorks, a social enterprise that specializes in responsible business and investments in conflict contexts, and MajestEYE, a deep tech start-up that focuses on data sciences and artificial intelligence, PeaceEYE combines the expertise of peace and conflict specialists with the technology and know-how of data scientists.
The program is due to be piloted in the Somali region in the context of OEF’s management of the Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund, which mobilizes capital investments to Somali businesses to stimulate job creation and the expansion of a more formalized private sector. PeaceEYE will use an innovative data-informed approach to analyze the interaction between the Fund and conflict dynamics. This will provide OEF with an investment framework that allows it to tailor its support to SMEs and enable it to scale up peace-promoting investments—and therefore the size of the fund.
“OEF fundamentally believes in the power of the private sector to contribute to peace and stability," said Jon Bellish, Executive Director of OEF. “Our commitment to the PeaceEYE initiative will allow us to reach more SMEs in the Somali context, and also pave the way for us to initiate and scale up similar responsible funds in other conflict-affected settings. For us, this is the beginning of a long and exciting journey with TrustWorks, and we very much hope that donors and investors working in fragile settings will come forward to support this important work.”
A recent study of more than 50 SME investment facilities operating in fragile or conflict-affected settings—commissioned by Interpeace and conducted by TrustWorks—found that none are adhering to the principle of conflict-sensitivity, despite the fact that SMEs are often on the frontline of conflict and violence. OEF will, therefore, become the first fund manager able to actually measure the impact of its fund on peace and stability, and to make relevant, tailored, and peace-promoting investment decisions.
“PeaceEYE is a flagship TrustWorks-MajestEYE initiative that we hope leads to the wide-scale adoption of conflict-sensitivity as a practice for all companies and investors in fragile and conflict-affected settings,” said Josie Lianna Kaye, CEO of TrustWorks. “We are grateful to OEF for allowing us to kick-start this important journey with them. It’s an invaluable opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to peace and stability in the Somali region, and beyond.”
OEF’s seed funding and partnership comes at a particularly timely moment in the broader sustainability field. The European Union, as part of its Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, is currently debating the inclusion of several regulations that would make “heightened conflict-sensitive due diligence” mandatory for companies operating in high-risk areas.
The PeaceEYE program has the potential to revolutionize how companies and investors adhere to these regulations in a cost-effective and efficient manner, while simultaneously maximizing their positive impacts on peace and stability.
“It is about time the tremendous potential of data science and artificial intelligence contributed to directing investments where the highest impact in terms of peace is combined with, instead of compromised against, robust return,” said Jihed Hannachi, Co-founder of MajestEYE. “MajestEYE AI technology will power PeaceEYE. That’s a contribution we are very proud of.”