Ghana’s President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo launched the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) virtual conference introducing the theme ‘Resilience, Resurgence and Results’.
He commended the private sector’s role in pushing Africa’s economy forward, building an inclusive and sustainable future, adding: “Closer collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sector is required to achieve Africa’s resilience and resurgence.”
The AVCA forum explored Africa’s revival post-COVID-19, recovery timelines and the regional variation of its impact. High-level industry panellists debated the role private investors should play in accelerating the continent’s recovery.
Solomon Asamoah from Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund commented that private investment in infrastructure is complicated and relatively new, but there’s been a lot of progress.
“We need to celebrate and build on the successes we’ve had, from telecoms to the power sector. If we structure transactions properly, we can unlock and attract private sector financing, both international and domestic,” said Asamoah.
Adding to the discussion, Khaled Ben Jilani from AfricInvest shared how private equity could safeguard the livelihoods of MSMEs in Africa.
He underlined areas best impacted by the pandemic, citing that new players in cross-border payments, digital lending, medical logistics, last-mile delivery and cross-border logistics will continue to be challengers to existing companies in years to come.
New private equity and venture capital opportunities
Genevieve Sangudi from Alterra Capital Partners emphasised the importance of “active portfolio management” with partners, and the value creation opportunities in the market.
She detailed how the pandemic had “created new and increasingly critical products and services that have helped us overcome revenue downturns by generating new business opportunities, direct-to-consumer strategies and shaping geographic expansions.”
These insights were followed by a session unpacking a range of evolving themes and emerging opportunities in African PE, such as gender-lens investing and the growing trend of high exit/acquisition for African fintech start-ups.
Fund managers examined the emerging economies in Africa with rising opportunities and the well-established African PE markets such as Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, and Morocco.
In closing, as AVCA celebrates 20 years of promoting investment in Africa and to mark the onward journey, the association announced its newly-established committees, the Institutional Investor (LP) Committee and the Venture Capital (VC) Committee.