Nairobi hosts AVCA’s annual private equity conference with investors collectively managing over US$1.5trn in assets

02 Apr 2019

Nairobi, 2nd April 2019 – H.E. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary – Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and Erik Bethel, Alternative Executive, US Representative to The World Bank opened the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s (AVCA) 16th Annual Conference in Kenya. The event is playing host to the top 400 private equity leaders as they discuss the most critical topics shaping the investment landscape in 2019.

Following the success of Monday’s 5th Annual GP-LP Summit featuring Stephen Priestley, Managing Director, Funds and Capital Partnership, CDC Group, a forum providing GPs and LPs the opportunity to discuss pivotal issues facing Africa’s private investment industry. The conference programme continued with a roundtable considering the impact of gender diversity on the African private equity industry's sustainability and commercial performance, convened prominent institutional investors including CDC Group, FinDev Canada, FMO, IFU, OPIC and Swedfund.

This was followed by an interview with Donald Kaberuka, Chairman and Managing Partner, SouthBridge, Chris Kirubi, Non-Executive Director, Centum Investment and H.E. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary – Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives in which he showcased Kenya’s attractiveness as a destination for private investment and status as East Africa’s private capital hub, highlighting that “The government has made significant progress in improving the ease of doing business and we encourage the private sector to take the lead in the growth of the economy, notably in the Big Four priority areas”.

This topic was elaborated on during a panel with Berhane Demisse, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Cepheus Growth Capital Partners and George Odo, Senior Partner & Managing Director, AfricInvest who noted that “East Africa’s fast-growing consumer markets are fuelling significant investor interest and driving inflows of capital.”

A panel with Matthew Hunt, Principal, South Suez Capital and Angela Miller-May, Chief Investment Officer, Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund highlighted the continent’s attractive growth prospects, with the latter adding that “as individuals at the forefront of private capital in Africa, we witness the vast opportunities that can be capitalised on. Our role is to demystify perceptions of Africa and drive sustainable and structural change across the region.”

American institutional investors including executives from the New York State Insurance Fund, Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois and the Board of Education Retirement System of the City of New York also discussed their perspective on opportunities in Africa, with Papa Madiaw Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer & Founding Partner, AFIG Funds adding “African private equity can generate significant returns and diversify portfolios, while bringing about the kind of positive impact our members want to see.” Discussing venture capital, Maurizio Caio, Founder & Managing Partner, TLCom commented: “Africa’s venture capital ecosystem is in full swing and the future looks bright for the continent’s next unicorns.” Speakers from leading DFIs including, BIO, CDC group, DEG/KfW, FinDev Canada, FMO, OPIC, Proparco and the EIB reiterated their commitment to the continent while Samia Tnani, Head of Credit, AfricInvest shed light on private credit, noting that it constitutes a promising asset class that has the potential to transform the SME segment.

As solving the infrastructure deficit becomes increasingly important, Jurie Swart, Chief Executive Officer, African Infrastructure Investment Managers will join a panel with other speakers including Michael Gera, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Energy Access Ventures to discuss transformative investments with an enabling effect in transport, power and telecommunications. Delegates will also hear from a panel discussing gender inclusiveness featuring Ameya Upadhyay, Principal, Investments, Omidyar Network UK and Rose Goslinga, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Pula, while a panel with Hatim Ben Ahmed, Partner, Mediterrania Capital Partners will address how firms can move towards aligning their ESG goals with country-level SDGs.

From an LP point of view, Henry Kyanda, Chief Executive Officer & Trust Secretary, Kenya Power Pension Fund will join a panel of Kenyan and African investors to address the opportunities and challenges faced by local institutional players while a portfolio spotlight session will shed light on M-Shawri’s disruptive model in the banking sector.

Michelle Kathryn Essomé, Chief Executive Officer, AVCA, added: “We are happy to have convened so many of the key decision makers at our landmark annual conference. As we’ve heard from a diverse group of speakers encompassing LPs, GPs and our Kenyan hosts, the future is bright for private equity in Africa and we are proud to play a role in contributing to the industry’s long-term growth.”

The landmark event is sponsored by leading investors and industry players across different geographies including Adenia Partners, AFIG Funds, African Development Bank, AfricInvest, Alitheia Identity, Amethis Finance, Catalyst Principal Partners, CDC Group, Centum Investment Company, Clifford Chance, Debevoise & Plimpton, DLA Piper, Development Partners International, eFront, European Investment Bank, Flourish Ventures, FMO, MMC Africa Law, Old Mutual Alternative Investments, Proparco, Software Technologies, The New Practice, TLcom Capital, and Verod Capital Management.



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