The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved €12.5 million equity investment in Adiwale Fund 1, a first-generation private equity fund targeting growth for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in some countries in West Africa.
AfDB’s board of directors approved the investment as part of its commitment to grow SMEs and improve livelihoods in countries underserved by the global equity market.
With a target fund size of €75 million, the fund will take minority stakes in vibrant SMEs in countries where economic prospects and the fund’s networks permit a rapid scale up.
Primary target countries will include Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali, while secondary beneficiaries will include Togo, Benin and Guinea.
Across these economies, some of which are fragile states, the fund will target three sectors: consumer goods and services, including education and health; business services such as transport, logistics, information technology and construction, and manufacturing, including pharmaceuticals, agri-processing and chemicals.
Director for Industrial and Trade Development, Abdul Mukhtar, said the fund’s investment strategy is aligned with the Bank’s High 5 goals, especially “Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa”.
Signing a deal with the Fund Manager’s co-founder, Jean-Marc Savi de Tové, recently, Mukhtar said, “The most exciting part is that the fund focuses on SMEs in francophone West Africa which accounts for nearly 19 per cent of West Africa’s GDP but attracts only seven per cent of private equity capital. As these companies grow, they cross the borders and integrate across different countries.
“From a development perspective, the Bank’s equity investment will provide growth capital to African SMEs, resulting in spill-over effects on job creation and tax revenues, with about 45 per cent of the jobs going to women.”