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Pioneering Sustainable Development: University of Liechtenstein’s Transformative Journey to South Africa

Last week, a team of the Youth Green Finance Initiative, including Assoc. Prof. Martin Angerer and Jennifer Schein from the University of Liechtenstein, members from the Liechtenstein Banker Association and from UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein joined forces on a landmark expedition to South Africa.

This visit was part of a collaborative effort to address social and ecological challenges through innovative blended finance solutions. Their journey, spanning several cities including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Pietermaritzburg, and Cape Town, aimed to deepen understanding of local conditions and foster a network that supports impactful sustainability projects.

The delegation's mission was clear: to gain firsthand experience of the on-the-ground realities and to integrate this knowledge into developing a pioneering blended finance model tailored for ecological and social impact. Their week was filled with insightful engagements, including meetings with key partners like UNICEF South Africa and interactions with influential community-based organizations such as R-labs. 

Key Highlights and Insights

The journey commenced in Pretoria with an introduction by UNICEF, outlining the vast landscape of social and ecological challenges facing South Africa. In Johannesburg, discussions revolved around the need for innovative solutions that respect the unique political and social contexts of the regions visited.

Pietermaritzburg offered a closer look at water-related initiatives with visits to DUCT and GroundTruth, organizations at the forefront of addressing local ecological issues. The engagement in Cape Town with Rlabs particularly stood out, showcasing the vibrant spirit of community support and innovation.

Throughout the trip, the representatives of the University of Liechtenstein were instrumental in fostering dialogues and bridging connections between European finance models and African ecological initiatives. Their efforts were pivotal in shaping the project’s approach to developing scalable and sustainable finance solutions. 

Looking Forward

Building on the rich insights and partnerships forged during this trip, the next steps include refining the blended finance models and further engaging with the local communities and youth. The University of Liechtenstein remains committed to supporting sustainable development through education, innovation, and international cooperation.


We extend our deepest gratitude to UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein for orchestrating this impactful journey, and to our hosts at UNICEF South Africa, who provided invaluable insights and hospitality. Special thanks to the local organizations and community leaders who shared their time and expertise, making this journey a profound learning experience for all involved.