Monday, June 30, 2008

Chinese Private Equity Fund for Africa?

Reading in todays Business Daily about CADFund (China-Africa
Development Fund) I couldn't help but wonder about how such a fund
would go about tackling Africa's unique complexities.

A continent that has 53 unique territories and jurisdictions, each
with its own combination of conditions and peculiarities, Africa does
not easily lend itself to such ambitious initiatives. Having said
that, though, it was good to note the comments from the fund's vice-
president Mr. Hu ... "China has a very good relationship with African
countries but we have to learn a lot of things about them.."

Apparently the fund has already invested US$60 million out of the US$
1 Billionearmarked for Africa and cmmited by the China Development
Bank. With deals in a glass factory in Ethiopia, power station in
Ghana and chrome plant in Zimbabwe the Funds investment strategy and
criteria raise a few questions. Both Zimbabwe and Ethiopia carry
extremely high levels of political risk among other negative factors
so it begs the question as to whether such investmemts should be
viewed as bold attempts to bolster private sector activity and in the
long term have a social return or are they deals that have been done
to appease the powers that be and in return receive accts to markets
and/or much needed raw materials?

It is interesting to note that the Fund is currently eyeing deals on
East Africa and is projecting additional investments worth $300m
across Africa.

I wonder, will they consider seed, startup and venture capital which
fits in with most countries development plans in the East African

Sent from my iPhone

No comments: