Uhuru Investment Partners (Uhuru) a middle-market private equity company based in Lagos and Abidjan, announces the US$113 million first close of Uhuru Growth Fund I (UGF), with capital support from CDC Group (“CDC”), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI), as well as other DFI partners, commercial and impact investors.
The capital raised by UGF will be used to fund businesses that create jobs, improve access to consumer products and services, and expand access to the healthcare and fintech sectors.
UGF is funded by commercial investors AfricaGrow and Kuramo Capital, as well as DFIs such as the European Investment Bank, DEG, SIFEM, and Finnfund, in addition to CDC.
Uhuru’s partners’ commitment would provide critical resources to help local companies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and improve trade across the continent.
CDC has helped Uhuru mobilize DFI and commercial resources over the years, and has partnered with the GP to develop governance and introduce Business Integrity and Environmental and Social (E&S) best practices.
The first-generation fund will invest throughout the West African region, including Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and other Francophone markets, with a target final close of US$200 million.
Uhuru expects to unlock additional capital for deployment as it grows as an entity, given its unique place in the market and strategic grasp of the fastest-growing economies across ECOWAS.
Uhuru Investment Partners’ indigenous-African team’s experience, track record of investments in the area, strong local networks, and deep knowledge of West Africa’s markets will be leveraged by UGF.
“We are excited to hit the first close of our fund,” said Dr. Yemi Osindero, Managing Partner of Uhuru. In what has been a difficult fundraising climate, we are extremely grateful for our investors’ unwavering support. We are excited to contribute to the economic development of West Africa by assisting local companies in our target sectors, assisting them in becoming regional leaders, and generating new, high-quality jobs.”
“The launch of our fund shortly after the start of the African Continental Free Trade Area is auspicious because it helps us to capitalise on new opportunities for our portfolio companies to enter regional markets,” said Nana Adow Dankwa, a partner at Uhuru. The prospects for expanding intra-regional trade through our markets excite us.”
“The presence of Uhuru’s main executive and operational teams in Abidjan, Accra, and Lagos is a huge advantage, enabling the team to effectively source investment opportunities in the Anglophone and Francophone economies of West Africa,” said Jean-Michel Kamanan, Partner at Uhuru. Uhuru’s presence in the region’s most important business hubs also allows us to participate actively in the operations of our portfolio companies in the region.”
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