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Private Equity experts meet in Gaborone

Institutional investors from several Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries will be meeting in Gaborone, Botswana next week to discuss opportunities for investment in private equity in Africa.

The meeting brings together representatives from pension funds, insurance companies and other long term investors across Southern Africa. Regulatory bodies and other stakeholders will also be present.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the biggest growth stories in emerging markets private equity,” said David Ashiagbor, an economic adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat, one of the organisers.

Ashiagbor added that fundraising activity by private equity fund managers in Sub-Saharan Africa has almost tripled from US$800 million in 2005 to over US$2.2 billion in 2008, and reached US$1 billion in the first half of 2009.

Martin Poulsen, Chief Private Equity Officer of the African Development Bank, co-sponsor of the meeting, noted that the growth in fundraising has been led by development finance institutions, international commercial banks, pension funds and even private investors.

“Unlocking the full potential investment power of African institutional investors remains a challenge for the African private equity industry. This needs to be addressedÔÇöand we hope this roundtable will help to unlock this largely untapped potential,” he said.

Alan Boshwaen, Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana IFSC, said that his organisation was hosting the roundtable to highlight Botswana’s continuing efforts to establish the country as an emerging, competitive domicile for Pan-African private equity and infrastructure funds.

“Our partner organisation CEDA shares our common goal of mobilising African capital to make more investments in the region including projects in Botswana, through the use of private equity vehicles domiciled in Botswana” said Alan Boshwaen.

Specifically, the Gaborone meeting aims to introduce participants to private equity as an asset class and familiarise participants with the private equity industry in Africa and provide the opportunity to meet with fund managers, investors and other stakeholders. It will also provide participants with an understanding of the structure of private equity funds, their operations and governance.

Confirmed speakers for the meeting include participants from The International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington DC, and South Suez Capital, Johannesburg.

The meeting will take place from 19 to 20 October 2010.

The meeting is organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Botswana IFSC, African Development Bank, CEDA, and supported by African Venture Capital Association, the Southern African Venture Capital Association and Aureos Capital.

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