London, UK, 29 October 2015: The report further reveals an improving business environment in the region. Whilst some challenges persist in the region such as an infrastructure and energy deficit, and a relatively under-developed legal framework in the context of PE, recently implemented reforms and initiatives have gone a long way to diversify economies and increase regional harmonisation.
The AVCA’s report provides illustrative case studies of how the improving investment landscape has had a positive impact on PE in the region as exit activity increased from 29 exits in 2007 - 2010, to 46 in 2011 - 2015 H1.
Looking ahead, the outlook remains very promising for West Africa in spite of the current slowdown in global economic activity. PE activity in Francophone West Africa is expected to grow (albeit from a low base) due to the emergence of regional funds. Furthermore, West Africa’s fundamentals including its young workforce, emerging middle class, rapid urbanisation, increasing political stability and improving regulatory frameworks will continue to create opportunities for PE investors in the region.
Dr. Dorothy Kelso, Director, Head of Research and Strategy at the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, added: “Our Spotlight on West Africa provides further evidence of the important role PE plays in the region’s development by investing in companies that expand the population’s access to a variety of goods and services, including financial products, upgraded telecommunications technology and improved infrastructure. We are confident that the PE market in West Africa will continue to grow over the coming years, and, although PE in the Francophone area of West Africa is still relatively nascent, we expect to see increasing deal activity as the introduction of a common legal framework, currency and accounting system facilitates investment in the OHADA region.”
The full report, which includes further details and statistics on exits, deals and fundraising activity in the region, will be made available exclusively to the AVCA membership.
The Spotlight on West Africa Private Equity is available to download here