CDC, the UK’s £2.8bn ($4.5bn) development finance institution, has invested $50m in 8 Miles, the recently-launched CLSA-backed pan-African private equity fund promoted by Bob Geldof and Kofi Annan.
The fund, which will invest in a range of sectors on the continent, has reached a first close at $200m.
CDC described 8 Miles as “an important, new fund for Africa with the potential to deepen the African private equity market, attract the attention of new types of investors and raise the continent’s profile as a good investment destination”.
Sectors that 8 Miles expects to focus on include agribusiness, energy, consumer and retail, health, telecoms, logistics and transport and financial services.
“Agriculture has great potential in Africa, with yields around 66% below world averages. Increasing global demand for food means that Africa can benefit from containing 15% of the world’s arable land,” said CDC.
“Transport requirements across the continent are significant, and the World Bank estimates a required spend of $9.5bn over 2005 – 2015. The fund aims to invest in logistics, warehousing and transportation services; ports containers and terminals.”
CDC has been in regular contact with 8 Miles since 2008, supporting the team through its fund raising period and implemented a programme for environmental, social and governance (ESG) management on each of the fund’s investments.
CLSA is an Asian brokerage and investment group.