IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an equity investment of $35 million in the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund to support more rapid development of information and communications technologies across Africa. The fund is expected to play an important development role in Africa, where ICT infrastructure bottlenecks impede the growth of business and companies lack access to finance, especially risk capital and related expertise from investors that can help businesses succeed.
The investment focus of the fund will be to address the lack of enabling infrastructure that provides quality, affordable communications services, especially broadband, across Africa. The fund aims to develop and invest in new wholesale, open access networks and related services. The fund will capitalize on the potential for communication technology platforms to deliver critical services such as banking, healthcare, education and government programs that contribute to improved living standards.
The fund will be managed Convergence Partners Management (Proprietary) Limited, a project development and investment advisory firm with an established track record of developing projects and providing growth capital as well as expertise to investee companies in the first Convergence Partners investment portfolio.
Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners said, “There is an exciting opportunity to accelerate the development of Africa through increased investment in critical infrastructure, specifically ICTs. We are proud to be working together with the IFC in our new fund to deploy critical capital and expertise into this sector to the benefit of the Continent”.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Senior Country Manager for Southern Africa, said, “The Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund will further spur Africa’s development. Access to communications helps improve economic competitiveness, facilitates efficient government services, increases the productivity of private businesses, and enhances living standards.”
The fund eventually aims to grow to $500 million. The first closing of the Fund, which is scheduled for later in 2012, will also involve other investors, including local and international development finance institutions and banks.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal year 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Convergence Partners
Convergence Partners is a strategic investment group focused on the Telecommunications, Media and Technology sector in Africa. As a sector-focused investor, Convergence Partners has a proven track record of adding value to investee companies as well as conceptualizing, developing and commercializing new investment opportunities.
Convergence Partners Portfolio I, comprising 18 TMT investments spanning from venture to mature private equity to project equity, is managed by Convergence Partners Management (“CPM”). CPM is currently raising the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund (“CPCIF”), as a dedicated vehicle for projects and companies that provide ICT infrastructure and related services to bolster the availability and quality of communications, broadband services and new technology offerings in Africa. CPCIF will also be managed by CPM.
Tags: Andile Ngcaba, broadband, communications, Convergence Partners, CPCIF, CPM, development, economic competitiveness, equity investment, ICT, IFC, Infrastructure Fund, Saleem Karimjee, Technologies, TMT, World Bank Group« Back