AfDB approves €12.5 million fund for SMEs in West Africa

What MSMEs should do during  economic crisis –Adebajo, CEO,UT Financial Services

The Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a €12.5 million fund in Adiwale Fund 1, a first-generation private equity fund targeting high growth potential Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)  in Francophone West African countries

In a press statement made available on the website of the AfDB and signed by its  Divisional Manager of Non-Sovereign Industries and Services, Alhassane Haidara, “The Bank’s investment in Adiwale Fund 1 would enhance the availability of financing and capacity support for SMEs in Francophone West Africa.

“Established in 2016, the Fund Manager, Adiwale Partners, houses a team of experienced West African nationals with several decades of combined private equity, operational, development finance and asset management experience in Africa, Europe and the United States. With support from the bank, the team is expected to drive value creation in investee companies through improvements in internal functions and implementation of best-governance practices.

“With a target fund size of €75 million, the fund will take minority stakes in SMEs that are well established in their markets, have competitive advantage and can rapidly scale up.

“Across these economies, the fund will target three key sectors: consumers (comprising consumer goods and services, education and health); business services (transport, logistics, IT, internet services, construction-related services) and manufacturing (pharmaceuticals, agri-processing, chemicals, etc.).

“From a development perspective, the Bank investment will provide growth capital to African SMEs, resulting in spill-over effects on job creation (direct & indirect, skilled & unskilled, men & women) and tax revenues. It will support local entrepreneurs with access to business management expertise and promote regional integration via the Fund’s support for companies looking to expand regionally. It will also boost best-in class corporate governance and human capital development, which ultimately unlocks top line growth and supports economic transformation.”

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