Nigeria and South Africa top the list of African countries set to benefit from a proposed $280 million private equity investment over the next five years.

The Africa Venture Capital Association (AVCA) diclosed this at a Press briefing in Lagos, yesterday preparatory to its second international venture capital conference, slated for next month in Accra, Ghana.

According to reports, the deal would be made possible if governments across Africa step-up efforts at improving business environment and securing foreign investments.

Chief Executive of AVCA, Mitchel Essome, said about 60 private equity investors from leading European and American venture capital managers will be coming to the Accra conference with the aim of networking with prospective private equity managers from Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt Botswana and Mozambique, among others, to find ways of helping the countries develop venture capital portfolios in Africa.

The investors would be looking to invest in oil and gas, telecommunications, and real estate sectors among others. AVCA’s Chief Executive stressed that they would be investing in sectors they consider “ready to accommodate their investments”. She also highlighted the favourable position Nigeria stands to get in the proposed investments due to her huge population and the level of her venture capital assets which is second only to BRICS member South Africa.

According to Essome, foreign investors have saturated investments in the Asian market and are currently exploring new markets outside Asia – considering their unpleasant experiences during the global economic meltdown.  Africa’s emerging market tops the list.

She highlighted Africa’s preference by European and American investors, but indicated the need for respective governments to create an enabling environment that would make foreign investors recoup their equity investment.

She said “Nigeria is recognized as a key player in African economy, but the challenge is for asset managers in the country to show they are ready to do business. We need to create  the enabling environment and that also means that venture capital managers in the country must up their game through acquisition of relevant skills which the Ghana conference would help provide them.”

ACVA is a not-for-profit entity founded to promote, develop and stimulate private equity and venture capital in Africa. The organisation is committed to promoting high ethical standards of business conduct and professional competence in the private equity and venture capital industries.


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