GE REPORTS / IDEAS ideaslaboratory.com July 22nd 2015
When President Obama meets with African entrepreneurs in Kenya this week, he will discover innovative minds eager for partnership, Dr. Frannie Leautier says in the first of a two-part interview.
African entrepreneurs are enjoying the spotlight, hosting President Obama this week at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. The continent’s entrepreneurs — whether using mobile technology to leapfrog the competition or off-grid innovations to power rural villages — are helping to lift once unstable countries into some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
African entrepreneurs have a “hunger to make speedier and better decisions,” says Dr. Frannie Léautier, chairperson and co-founding partner of Mkoba Private Equity Fund, which offers growth capital to small and medium enterprises in Africa. “It is hard not to be optimistic when looking at Africa.”
In the first of a two-part interview, she discusses the opportunities Africa presents, the role companies can play in developing infrastructure and workforces, as well as what her message to Obama would be. >> Read more
HOMESTRINGS.COM March 10th 2015
Pension funds in Africa should direct more money towards local private equity (PE) firms that fund local enterprises, according to Jitesh Ladwa, CEO of Tanzania-based Mkoba Private Equity Fund. He says Africa holds billions of dollars that should be channeled into local economies rather than the continent always waiting for foreign investment.
Last year a survey on pension funds in 10 sub-Saharan countries revealed assets worth a total of US$379bn. However, most of these pension funds were investing small amounts in PE due to myriad reasons including regulatory challenges.
In Nigeria, for example, a paltry 0.22% of the $26bn of pension assets is invested in private equity. Ladwa explained to How we made it in Africa how he and his co-founders at Mkoba were turned down by foreign investors when they went looking for money to set up the PE fund. Eventually they raised money from local investors. Given the progress Africa has made in the last decade, Ladwa believes it is a “misguided effort” to wait for foreign help for everything.
“The dialogue has to change. Today we have enough money ourselves,” he says. “Mkoba is symbolic. It is a private equity fund owned by Africans and funding Africans with African money. It shows we can help ourselves.” >> Read more
HOW WE MADE IT IN AFRICA February 26th 2015
Last year one of the first Tanzania-based private equity firms launched with a US$200m fund. Private equity (PE) flows into East Africa have increased significantly in the last five years. And although some PE funds have sealed deals with Tanzanian companies, the funds mostly operate out of Nairobi or Johannesburg. Hence, the entry of Mkoba Private Equity Fund was greeted with enthusiasm in the East African nation. Mkoba was co-founded by a team of Tanzanian professionals led by former World Bank vice-president Frannie Léautier and accomplished businessman and economist Jitesh Ladwa.
Ladwa, who is CEO of the fund, tells How we made it in Africa that Mkoba was set up to respond to the challenges local entrepreneurs face in accessing capital. >> Read more
HOW WE MADE IT IN AFRICA February 10th 2015
Meet the Boss’ is a How we made it in Africa interview series where we pose 10 questions to business leaders across the continent.
THE GUARDIAN - IPP MEDIA, April 30th 2014 JK launches Mkoba Private Equity Fund
Economists and business leaders have said Tanzania has all it takes to become the continent’s economic powerhouse, calling for political and economic stability to sustain its growth tempo. The observation was made at a conference on ‘Investing in Africa’s Future and the Role of the Private Sector’ which was held in Dar es Salaam yesterday and attended by President Jakaya Kikwete, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, Former Premier Cleopa Msuya and Former National Assembly Speaker Pius Msekwa. Also in attendance were TPSF Board Chairman Dr Reginald Mengi and BoT governor Prof Beno Ndulu, cabinet ministers, Members of parliament, diplomats, politicians, entrepreneurs and academicians. President Kikwete who also officially launched the Mkoba Private Equity Fund said the private sector has a chance of working with the government to transform the country’s economy.
>> Read more
VENTURES AFRICA, April 30th 2014
Locals have been urged to invest more in Tanzania as the country launches the Mkoba Private Equity Fund – the first ever private equity fund in the country. The $300 million (about Sh480 billion) Private Equity Fund aims to fill the gap in the private equity market in Africa by providing growth capital to portfolio companies not on the radar of most funds. In Tanzania and other parts of Africa where it focus on (Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, DRC, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone), the fund will support SMEs targeting equity investments ranging from $1.0 to $15 million (about Sh1.6 billion to Sh24 billion).Speaking at the launching of the fund yesterday, President Jakaya Kikwete said the launching of the fund is of significant importance as it will “provide growth capital for high-growth small and medium sized companies.”
>> Read more
THE CITIZEN, April 28th 2014
Dar es Salaam. With a target fund of $300 million (about Sh480 billion), Mkoba Private Equity Fund—the first ever private equity fund in Tanzania—will be inaugurated tomorrow by President Jakaya Kikwete in Dar es Salaam. Mkoba Private Equity Fund, whose headquarters are in Dar es Salaam seeks the opportunity to support the “missing middle” by targeting equity investments ranging from $1.0 to $15 million (about Sh1.6 billion to Sh24 billion) mainly through providing growth capital for high-growth small and medium sized companies. Dr Frannie Léautier, a co-founding partner of the Fund, said over the weekend that Mkoba is responding to the emerging market opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa and is designed to fill the gap in the current range of financing available to the SMEs in the region.
>> Read more
How can Africa attract private equity to its SMEs?
NORDIC AFRICA INSTITUTE, February 21st 2014
By Dr. Frannie A. Léautier, Science Po, Paris; Partner and CEO, Mkoba Private Equity Fund; former Director of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation and of the World Bank Institute.With sound macroeconomic fundamentals confirmed, African countries could expect increased interest by private equity investors in their small and medium enterprises.There is huge pent up demand for financing in Africa, with more than 85% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) un-served or underserved in terms of access to finance. What should countries do to attract more private equity into sectors like manufacturing, service delivery, energy, banking, consumer goods, and refining rich raw materials?
>> Read more
MORE NEWS COVERAGE ON MKOBA PRIVATE EQUITY FUND:
>> Tanzania gains fresh attention on private equity deals
Daily News Tanzania, May 3rd 2014
>> Tanzania launches $300m PE fund
Africa Asset Management, May 2nd 2014
>> New Pan-African private equity fund launched in Tanzania
Tanazania Invest, April 30th 2014