AfDB injects €5 million into Francophone West Africa private equity fund

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved on 16 November a €5 million equity investment in a private equity fund which will invest in key sectors with regional expansion potential in French-speaking West Africa.

The fund, called Cauris Croissance II, will focus on areas such as financial services, general manufacturing and services, information and communications technology, and infrastructure service industries in Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The AfDB’s investment will improve access to finance for enterprises with regional growth potential in the region, which is relatively underserved with equity finance compared to the rest of Africa, especially in the low income countries and Fragile states targeted by the Fund.

Also, by providing technical assistance to the companies receiving some of the funding, the AfDB capital injection will contribute to regional capacity building.  The Fund is run by Lomé-based Cauris Management which, between 1999 and 2009, increased the aggregate number of permanent jobs from 1,340 to 2,456, of which 334 went to women.

Based on the new Fund’s indicative pipeline, it is expected that about 1,100 jobs will be created, of which 149 are expected to go to women.