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 partner and chief executive officer 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.
She told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that Mkoba was founded in 2013 by partners with deep local roots, diverse experience and profound knowledge of target countries’ political and social context, adding that 70 per cent of companies that manage Mkoba are Tanzanian. The idea came about from a realisation that while there are opportunities in Africa, there was a wide gap in the players serving this market, particularly with regards to supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
She said Mkoba’s strategy is to focus on portfolio companies in fast growing countries undergoing liberalization and post-conflict countries rebuilding their economies including, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.
“Where we aim to target fast growing SMEs with potential to become regional players,” she added.
She said Mkoba focused on SMEs that have capital needs in the range of $1 million to $15 million; and where a suite of instruments ranging from equity, to debt and capacity building can help them secure not only financial results but development results in a sustainable manner.
“The SMEs we target also stand to contribute or benefit from the consumer driven economic growth and increased trade and investment opportunities that come with Africa’s increased integration into the regional and global markets,” said Dr Leautier who is former Vice-President of the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Institute and former Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.