Bpifrance in partnership with AfricInvest has launched the French African Fund (FFA)
The French African Fund is “the first cross-border investment fund dedicated to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both Africa and France.”
The fund is geared towards accelerating the growth of SMEs across Africa and France. It will be under the management of AfricInvest, a leading pan-African mid-cap-focused private equity firm.
AfricInvest will be looking for profitable mid-cap companies that demonstrate growth potential through an entrepreneurial medium-to-long-term approach in the creation of value. The fund will be split in half; one-half is going to French SMEs with initiatives that promise to grow into African markets and provide opportunities for economic empowerment. While the other half will go towards African SMEs that demonstrate the potential to grow into a regional economic powerhouse.
The investment of the fund will be in the form of equity participation, but one on a mostly minority stake.
AfricInvest will also take the initiative of supporting the investees by giving them capacity building mentorship, sharing of experiences, financial guidance, and exposure to their extensive network. AfricInvest has expertise operating both in France and across Africa who will do this task well.
“AfricInvest looks forward to supporting the ambitions of the FFA through its diverse and multidisciplinary team while bringing French and African entrepreneurs strong support to push their respective projects beyond the boundaries of their countries and continents,” said AfricInvest founding partner, Aziz Mebarek.
AfricInvest says that already, they have some investors who have already subscribed to the fund. The investors include two French private-sector groups (Société Générale and Orange), Bpifrance, and Proparco.
African investors are giving more than 25% of the FFA fund. These investors include Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale de Côte d’Ivoire (CNPS), the Central Bank of Kenya Pension Fund, Moroccan insurance company Saham, Moroccan industrial and financial group Financecom, private investors from Nigeria and Kenya, and AfricInvest.