CDC Group has announced a commitment to invest over Ksh.100 billion (USD 1 billion) in African businesses in 2021. CDC Group is the UK’s impact investor and Development Finance Institution (DFI).

The commitment will enable CDC to invest in many more promising African entrepreneurs and SMEs, where over half of the institution’s portfolio is now invested. The funds will be invested in financial institutions, infrastructure and climate, services, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate and technology.

In 2020, CDC committed over $1 billion into Africa with a focus was the economic recovery from COVID-19. CDC injected systemic liquidity into financial markets, provided capital for companies that deliver critical goods and services, made new commitments to African funds and protected existing investees to help them sustain employment. The fund’s investment activity is equivalent to an ever-greater proportion of foreign direct investment into Africa.

Key deals highlighted in 2020 included:

  • A Ksh.10 billion (USD100 million) investment in Helios Investors IV to scale market-leading companies across the continent.
  • The creation of a Ksh.75 billion (USD750 million) biopharmaceutical platform to broaden access to specialty generic pharmaceuticals in Africa.
  • The launch of the BlueOrchard Covid-19 Emerging and Frontier Markets MSME Support Fund, which is anchored by CDC and aims to support more than 200 million jobs in frontier and emerging market.
  • A Ksh.4 billion (USD40 million) additional investment in Liquid Telecom to boost the growth of digital ecosystems.
  • A Ksh.5 billion (USD50 million) guarantee by MedAccess, a CDC subsidiary to UNICEF, to improve the access and affordability of COVID-19 medical supplies for low and middle-income countries.

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer of CDC, said, “2020 was a challenging year for African economies and businesses, which have been heavily affected by COVID-19. As an impact investor and DFI, CDC is committed to providing long-term investment particularly in challenging times. As FDI continues to drop, we maintain our steadfast commitment to African businesses as they play a leading role in accelerating Africa’s economic and human development.”