CDC Capital Partners, the UK government-owned developing economies investor, has committed $50 million (€42 million) to the Actis Africa Empowerment Fund as part of an ongoing programme to stimulate private sector growth in developing countries.
The firm has also committed $40 million to the Canada Investment Fund for Africa (CIFA) and $15 million to Emerging Markets’ Partnership (EMP)’s second African fund.
CDC also committed $3 million to Grofin, a fund sponsored by The Shell Foundation and supported by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in his capacity as chairman of the Commission for Africa.
The Actis Africa Empowerment Fund will invest in black empowered businesses in South Africa and CDC has also agreed to commit a further $250 million to Actis Africa, to be invested over the next three and a half years.
Actis is the independent investment management company that was spun out of CDC in January 2004 with a remit to manage CDC’s investments as well as raise money from third parties.
Actis was appointed to co-manage the C$200 million CIFA along with Montreal headquartered IFPT Management last year.
Commenting on the fund commitments, CDC chief executive Richard Laing said in a statement: “These commitments demonstrate CDC’s continuing stake in the future of Africa. Private sector investment is vital to build up sustainable business which is key to long-term economic growth in Africa.”
CDC has a stated mandate of making 70 percent of its investments in the poorest countries in the world (countries whose annual income per head is less than $1,750), with at least 50 percent of its managed funds to be in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. To date, the firm has invested more than $770 million in 16 countries through six funds.