Top African venture capital meeting (AVCA) coming to Cairo

Private equity and venture capital opportunities in Africa, billed “the world’s fastest-growing continent”, are on the agenda of the African Venture Capital Association (AVCA) 8th Annual Conference (http://www.avcaegypt2009.com). The top industry meeting will be held in Cairo Marriott Hotel on 15th-17th November, 2009 with the theme “Africa: The Growth Continent for Private Equity. Investment Opportunities 2010 and Beyond”.

 AVCA (http://www.avcanet.com) is a non-profit organization founded to develop private equity and venture capital in Africa. Its Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, says the theme highlights “the significant investment opportunities that abound across Africa. Africa, we believe, is the final frontier where you can still achieve above-average returns.”

 Topics addressed by world experts include:

  • After the Global Financial Crisis – Opportunities for PE and the Economies across Africa
  • Comparisons with other Emerging Markets – Does Africa have the Edge?
  • Where are the Opportunities: Which sectors will continue to provide significant returns? What new trends are developing? Do single country investments still make sense vs regional and pan-African investments.
  • Investing and Accessing Capital in the MENA Region
  • The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid:  Will Microfinance change the Banking Landscape?
  • Is Africa ready for Specialized Funds?
  • Finding the Exit:  Delivering Returns in Emerging Markets (case studies from across the continent).

 Industries such as financial services, agribusiness and infrastructure and power will be looked at in detail, highlighting the investment opportunities and potential for private equity investors.

 According to Ahmed Heikal, founder and chairman of conference co-host Citadel Capital (http://www.citadelcapital.com/): “There has never been a more interesting time for confident investors to venture into our continent.. There are good reasons for the IMF to project Africa will grow faster than any other continent in the coming year.” He says recent IMF statistics show Africa growing at 4.1% in 2010, compared to 0.6% for advanced economies and projected a world average of 2.5% growth.

 According to Heikal: “From unique transportation and logistics plays to agrifoods and microfinance, Africa is home to outstanding investment opportunities that build wealth for both investors and the communities in which we do business.

 Speakers include fund managers and industry leaders. The conference brings Africa together with markets including the Middle East, Europe and the USA and attendees are likely to include international investors, key African government officials and Africa-focused PE funds, Limited Partners and General Partners. Delegates from 19 African countries and 9 non-African countries attended the 2008 AVCA’s conference in Botswana.

 The conference is hosted by:

AVCA: A not-for-profit organization founded to promote the development of private equity and venture capital as an alternative asset class in Africa. The Association has 120 full and associate members from 18 African countries and 9 countries worldwide. Its members have some US$ 5 billion of institutional funds under management. AVCA is committed to promoting high ethical standards of business conduct and professional competence in the industry (http://www.avcanet.com).

FMO: The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) is the international development bank of the Netherlands. FMO invests risk capital in companies and financial institutions in developing countries with the mission to create flourishing enterprises which can serve as engines of sustainable growth in their countries. The investment portfolio is €4.2 billion, making FMO one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks worldwide. Thanks in part to its relationship with the Dutch government, FMO is able to take risks which commercial financiers are not yet prepared to take. (http://www.fmo.nl).

Citadel Capital: a leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on building regional platform investments in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity Specific Funds. It has 19 OSFs, controlling companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy in 12 countries from Algeria to Ethiopia (http://www.citadelcapital.com/).

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