Published September 2019
Attracting the millennial investor to multilateralism and investing in the Sustainable Development Goals
By Kanni Wignaraja

Kanni Wignaraja is the Assistant Administrator and Director ad interim at the Bureau for Management Services at UNDP. Prior to this, she served as the Senior Advisor to the UNDP Administrator focusing on development policy and reform, and leadership development, and before that as the Director of the Office for UN Development Coordination. Kanni Wignaraja has significant experience in leading UNDP’s global, regional and country programme portfolios. Prior to joining the UN, she worked with the Ford Foundation in New York, and with the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka. She has contributed to numerous papers, articles and conferences in areas of public policy, institutional reform, capacity development, human rights and leadership.

Who is the millennial investor, and why focus on this cohort to drive Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) financing? Born in the late 1980s through mid-1990s, this age cohort constitutes a large proportion of the economically active population in many countries, including in emerging economies. To cite a few examples, in Nigeria and Ethiopia the median age is 18, Egypt 24, South Africa and Saudi Arabia 27, India 28, Indonesia and Colombia 30, Bahrain 32, Armenia 35, China 37, USA and Australia 38, UK 40, France and Sweden 41.