Global business networking firm KITE Invest recently interviewed AVCA’s CEO, Michelle Kathryn Essomé and Research Analyst, Ponmile Osibo, to discuss the opportunities and challenges of private capital investing in Africa.
The interview can be read in full here. Highlights include:
On Africa’s investment opportunities:
AVCA: What we think is really exciting about the opportunities on the continent is that which is underpinning growth. For instance, investors are trying to capitalise on the consumer story. As the middle class is growing, they are making more money and putting more money into circulation, which has a really positive circular effect. Second, people are also returning to Africa. Africans who have been educated and spent part of their careers in Europe, the US or other places are coming back. Third, by focusing more and more on this growing middle class, there is a whole plethora of opportunities within infrastructure, telecoms, financial services, agriculture, consumer goods and retail goods.
On the challenges that AVCA has faced over the past 12 years:
AVCA: The main challenge has been changing the perceptions around Africa and the investment opportunities. I think that it is still a challenge, but it is lessened day by day, because people are awakening, looking for investment opportunities outside of the norm. I think that the greatest challenge for AVCA is to be able to produce more research pieces that can help to debunk these myths.
On the upcoming AVCA 11th Annual Conference, in Nigeria:
AVCA: AVCA has been holding conferences each year in a different country in Africa since 2000. Effectively, it is about bringing people together who have been investing on the continent for a long time, such as development finance institutions, fund managers, foundations or wealthy families, in order to talk about what are the obstacles, challenges and investment opportunities, and how to continue to grow the industry and attract more capital for greater development of the continent.
And a final word:
AVCA: As an asset class, if you think about private equity in its simplest form, it’s an investment in a company which allows it grow, more people can get hired, more children can go to better schools. It simply puts more money into circulation and that means more tax revenue. It may be simplistic, but it is really about developing economies.
Within private equity there is also a focus on corporate social responsibility, governance, environmental responsibility, and therefore greater transparency and accountability. I do not know of another asset class that gives you that.
To read more about AVCA’s annual conference, please view: www.avcaconference.com
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