Tag: agriculture

Private Equity Trends in Africa

Private Equity Trends in Africa

Views on private equity funding in Africa

Last evening I had dinner with my childhood friends at Aso Rock, a Nigerian restaurant in Vienna’s third district. As usual, when we three get together, we have a great time discussing international business and affairs.

I particularly enjoy bouncing ideas off each other, in our respective fields of entertainment, automobile, and international development. To me, it is interesting to rub minds with people working in industries that rarely cross over. By default, our viewpoints conflict, but often we unanimously agree on the topics of finance and Africa.

Opportunities for shrewd private equity players

It appears that investors within and outside of Africa continue to invest in African enterprises with long-term growth potential. Private equity transactions in Africa require complex structures to fund transactions that mitigate risks and develop enterprises from the ground up.  If you are looking to invest in Africa, consider experienced partners with market knowledge and the ability to manage risks on large-scale investments.

I learned about the Blackstone Group, a private equity funds company considered as the largest in Africa and perhaps the world. In 2016, the Blackstone Group invested over USD 2 billion in infrastructure building and development in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Togo, and Mozambique. The latest significant deals made are in the industries of agribusiness, e-commerce, energy, FinTech, transport and pharmaceutical. Erratic fluctuations in the commodity market have shifted the focus on non-commodity and domestic consumers in Africa.

Check out the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) for more information on private equity funding in Africa.

Cost of sending money to and within emerging markets

Our conversation transitioned from the rise of US and UAE private equity funding in Africa to the topic of money transfers. My friend mentioned the shamefully expensive fees of transferring money to Africa. Money transfer fees vary between 10%-15% and equate to an additional tax on the diaspora.

Remittances – a fancy word for money transfer – account for more inflows than foreign aid or foreign direct investments. According to the World Bank, the three largest remittance recipients in 2016 were Nigeria (USD 20 billion), Egypt (USD 18.7 billion), and Morocco (USD 7.1 billion).

We debated on the possible reasons for high fees and concluded that antimonopoly regulations need to play a role for fair competition in the remittances market. We also considered the high costs as a possible deterrence to terrorist financing. But then again, it would not deter a big-time crook to invest in money laundering operations.

Alternative options of sending remittances are few – out of 54 African countries, the PayPal community is active only in South Africa. Mobile payments, such as MPesa remain to be sluggish in the Western African region. Sending money internationally with the bank is for many, not an option due to the hidden and high transaction fees.

Somehow, our conversation about Africa and Finance concluded by a quote that I read somewhere. I am not sure who cited it but it goes something like this: “If opportunity doesn’t know, build a door”.

Are you an impact investor? Or managing a private equity portfolio including African markets? Then drop us a line at partners@aphropean.com to facilitate a talk of your experiences.

Making Sense & Profit of Sustainable Agriculture

Making Sense & Profit of Sustainable Agriculture


What does agriculture have to do with the sustainability business? Everything.
Agriculture is the common thread which holds the global goals together;  from protecting society, our health and animal welfare to preserving the environment.

This inclusive discussion is particularly relevant for:

> suppliers of agricultural products and services,

> representatives of health and environmental protection agencies,

> food distributors and processors,

> NGOs and organic farming groups,

> environmental scientists.

In sponsorship of Knowledge City, Aphropean Partners 4th Frontiers of Dialogue is produced to increase your understanding of sustainable agriculture and highlight the lucrative opportunities as well as challenges in trading between Austria and Africa.  

At this Frontiers of Dialogue, we’ll discuss the opportunities relevant to sustainable agriculture, along with the technological and market changes in Africa.

We have invited a panel from the private sector who will be sharing their sustainability initiatives in sustainable agribusiness. These practitioners are incredibly valuable sources of knowledge and even better, can help you and your enterprise avoid the same mistakes they made. Together, we’ll explore high growth potentials and various pathways to the green industrialisation of Africa. 

The #FOD17 Moderator

Rita Isiba
Aphropean Partners
Founder, Director of Partnership Development and Programmes

The #FOD17 Panellists

Festus O. Imarhiagbe
Fesima Agro Consultancy
Agribusiness Expert, Agricultural Consultant

Thomas Kukovec
Technik-Plus – Carbon Farming Austria

Business Development Regional Manager MENA & Sub-Saharan Africa

Gert Zechner

What’s on the agenda?

An engaging dialogue in a relaxed and intimate setting between practitioners of organic farming and sustainable agribusiness in Austria and Africa.

It is said that over 65% of the global population is employed within the agricultural sector. In most of the developing world and Africa, the highest growth potentials are in agribusiness. Technological advancement and market changes have made it possible to drive the green industrial revolution. This comes along with an abundance of opportunities as well as challenges.

We’ll explore the correlation of sustainable agriculture with industrialisation, health, food distribution and human migration.

What’s the point?

At this #FOD17 evening, we’ll learn about the opportunities and challenges of sustainable agriculture in the developing world.

Take into consideration the population rate in economically challenged countries. Now more than ever, the world needs more job creation, food, water and land availability. What drives the success of entrepreneurial companies that sustainably produce agricultural products and services? How can Green Technology and Innovations help build a healthy ecosystem? Which business models are proven successful in Africa’s emerging markets? Why is impact investing crucial to the sustainable agriculture sector?

We will look into practices and strategies to understand what drives success in agricultural innovations and greentech.

If you are interested in the business of sustainability for development, this is a brilliant opportunity to meet amazing people, exchange views and learn. We may not solve the world’s problems by the end of the evening, but our conversations may be the most inspiring.

The evening will be casual and filled with a variety of people sharing a common interest in the Africa-EU relation to stem migration, create a skilled workforce and reduce the reliance of foreign aid among other matters. We place emphasis on promoting leaders of thought and practice with Africa experience.

Previous topics of #FOD17 Frontiers of Dialogue:

Mastering Disruptive Innovation and Technology (March 2017) Click here to learn more
Driving Environmental Performance with Technology (May 2017) Click here to learn more
Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders (September 2017) Click here to learn more


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