The Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), the U.S. government's development finance institution, has approved up to $100 million in financing for an investment fund that will produce quality commercial real estate in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a statement issued by OPIC, the Actis Africa Real Estate Fund 2 LP – a private equity fund the focuses on the developing world – will invest primarily in greenfield property developments in high-growth markets in East and West Africa, with a focus on retail and office sectors, as well as on some residential and mixed-use development. Target countries include Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The fund has a target capitalization of $250 million.
OPIC has identified sub-Saharan Africa as ‘one of the fastest-urbanizing areas in the world,’ but adds that the region ‘suffers from significant underinvestment in office space.’
‘The lack of retail and office space in East and West Africa is inhibiting the growth of businesses in both regions – a problem exacerbated by rapid urbanization across the continent,’ says OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. ‘By introducing the expertise and skills necessary to make prime real estate development for growing businesses commercially sustainable, Actis will help spur economic growth on the continent.’
As part of its mission, OPIC mobilizes private capital and works with the U.S. private sector. The agency says that it works on a ‘self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.’