Can private equity boost African development?

published in October 2011
Private equity divides opinion: for some it is a financial product like any other; for others it is an effective development tool. Can Africa afford to do without the financial opportunities it offers? This is the challenge.
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In just the last decade or so, private equity has carved out a new territory for itself in sub-Saharan Africa. For the region this is a fantastic opportunity to attract new investors whose funds are entrusted to specialist professional management teams. For many companies – from major corporations to start-ups – it is an opportunity to access not only the long-term funding vital for their growth but also close support in terms of defining their strategy, improving their governance and accessing international professional networks. To date private equity has remained over-focused on a few sectors and geographic areas – yet increasingly it is venturing into new terrain, via specialist funds, and developing innovative strategies.
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