AfricInvest Group is delighted to announce the third and final closing of its AfricInvest Financial Sector (AFS) fund, with limited partner commitments reaching EUR 60.6 million.
New commitments came from KfW,BIO, Desjardins Group, and the Adolf H. Lundin Charitable Foundation and other private investors. The AFS was initially launched in June 2007 with a capital commitment of EUR 20 million by FMO5, the Dutch development bank, and was then increased to EUR 31 million in April 2010 with additional capital commitments by Proparco through its FISEA fund6, and by Développement international Desjardins (DID)7. It is one of the first funds to focus on financial inclusion in Africa through investments in financial institutions that service amongst others micro, medium-sized enterprises.
The AFS fund has made 13 investments with its initial commitments in the Africa Financial Sector, and has realized two full exits and one partial exit. Given the track-record, opportunities and the high impact of the Fund, the shareholders and the Manager of the Fund decided to increase its size and term in order to create a real pan-African Financial Sector Portfolio. The Fund now has the ability to both increase its exposure to promising and fast-growing portfolio companies and to execute a pipeline of new investments. The fund makes investments in the range of EUR 1 to 5 million with the objective to grow, develop and build sustainable Financial Institutions in Africa while generating solid returns and strong social and development impacts. It promotes financial inclusion and innovation in a sector that still has very low penetration levels, providing institutions with capacity development and technical assistance to improve governance and operations.
This closing comes at a time when many African Central Banks are increasing minimum capital requirements and tightening regulations across the financial sector: in banking, insurance, microfinance and non-banking financial institutions. These developments and increasing penetration create important needs for equity investment in the sector.
Bernardus Zwinkels, Chairman of the AfricInvest Group, stated, "We are confident as a team that this Fund can help build solid and sustainable financial institutions across the continent, and at the same time support entrepreneurs to improve their companies and enhance the lives of people through a further deepening of the financial sector in Africa." Mr. Khaled Ben Jilani, Senior Partner in charge of the AfricInvest Financial Sector Fund, emphasized that “The Fund will benefit from the team’s extensive experience in the financial sector and its proven ability to invest in and grow different kinds of financial institutions in Africa. The Fund will also help facilitate access to finance for non-banked African individuals and SMEs, improve financial inclusion across the continent, and contribute to poverty alleviation through the financing of job generating activities.”