By Amaka Agwuegbo
Alitheia Capital,Goodwell Investments BV and JCS Investments are set to further facilitate the growth of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria and Ghana.
Announcing the first close of a $60 million equity fund focused on microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria and Ghana, Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Director of Alitheia, said a number of Dutch high net-worth individuals and institutional investors invested in the fund, which will be managed by a partnership of investment managers based in Nigeria, Ghana and the Netherlands.
â€œThe objective of the Fund is to selectively invest in entrepreneurial MFIs with the potential to generate attractive returns and positive social impact. Its strategy is to provide a unique combination of: growth capital for growing, early stage and transforming MFIs; on the ground support to MFI management teams; and access to the expertise and a global network of microfinance practitioners.
â€œIn addition to investing in existing growth MFIs as well as those that have the potential for transformation, the Fund will invest in early-stage MFIs to enable the development of institutions based on best practices from an early stage and free from legacy issues.â€
Commenting on the close, Ishmael said the Fund is a milestone in the development of the Nigerian microfinance sector.
â€œThe capital that Alitheia and Goodwell Investments can now inject into microfinance in Nigeria will help professionalize the industry, drive more rapid growth and ultimately go some way to lifting Nigerians out of poverty, in addition to securing financial returns for our investors.
The Fund has built a strong pipeline of high-potential investments and hopes to announce its first investment within the first quarter of 2010.â€