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CDC to invest over $1bn in African businesses in 2021

Anna Lyudvig
Jan. 21, 2021, 2:09 p.m.

Word count: 459

CDC Group, the UK's impact investor and development finance institution (DFI), has announced a commitment to invest over $1bn again in African businesses in 2021.

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CDC Group, the UK's impact investor and development finance institution (DFI), has announced a commitment to invest over $1bn again in African businesses in 2021.

The commitment will enable CDC to invest in many more promising African entrepreneurs and SMEs, and continue to drive inclusive growth and job creation across the continent, where over half of the institution’s portfolio is now invested.

The funds will be invested in financial institutions, infrastructure and climate, services, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate and technology.  

CDC has unveiled its plans at the UK-Africa Investment Conference to expand its Africa portfolio with new investments in key markets including Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and the continent’s harder-to-reach frontier markets where significant development gains can be made.

As the world's largest bilateral development investor in Africa, CDC has invested more than £2.7bn in African businesses over the past three years.

In 2020, CDC committed over $1bn into Africa with a focus was the economic recovery from COVID-19.

CDC injected systemic liquidity into financial markets, provided capital for companies that deliver critical goods and services, made new commitments to African funds and protected existing investees to help them sustain employment.

Foreign direct investment into Africa is predicted to have declined by 30% over the year.

CDC’s maintained investment pace provides counter-cyclical funding at a critical time for the continent.

The fund’s investment activity is equivalent to an ever-greater proportion of foreign direct investment into Africa.

Nick O'Donohoe, CEO of CDC, said: “2020 was a challenging year for African economies and businesses, which have been heavily affected by COVID-19. As an impact investor and DFI, CDC is committed to providing long-term investment particularly in challenging times. As FDI continues to drop, we maintain our steadfast commitment to African businesses as they play a leading role in accelerating Africa’s economic and human development.” 

Key deals announced in 2020 include: a $100m investment in Helios Investors IV to scale market-leading companies across the continent;

the creation of a $750m biopharmaceutical platform to broaden access to speciality generic pharmaceuticals in Africa; the launch of the BlueOrchard Covid-19 Emerging and Frontier Markets MSME Support Fund, which is anchored by CDC and aims to support more than 200 million jobs in frontier and emerging markets; a $40m additional investment in Liquid Telecom to boost the growth of digital ecosystems; and a $50m guarantee by MedAccess – a CDC subsidiary – to UNICEF to improve the access and affordability of COVID-19 medical supplies for low and middle-income countries.

“Alongside our partners at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Department for International Trade we’ve focused our efforts on preserving the development gains that have been hard won over the last twenty years and ensuring Africa’s recovery from COVID-19 is inclusive and sustainable,” said O’Donohoe.

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