British International Investment

Uhuru Growth Fund I

CameroonGhanaNigeriaAfricaWest AfricaCommunications & IT servicesConsumer - other servicesFinancial servicesManufacturing

Uhuru Growth Fund supports enterprises that boost job creation, increase access to goods and services in consumer staples, and enhance access to the healthcare and fintech sectors. The fund will invest across the West African region including Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and other Francophone markets to boost post-pandemic recovery.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

Uhuru will provide growth capital and value additive support to up to ten mid-cap companies. In doing so, it will create semi-skilled and skilled jobs in Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire.

As well as providing capital support, we have supported Uhuru in mobilising DFI and commercial capital, and improving governance and implementing environmental, social and business integrity best practice.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Provide income-generating opportunities through direct employment (SDG 8.5)
  • Increase financial inclusion through improved access to financial services, including affordable credit (SDG 10.2).

How?

Primary Secondary

By providing capital and value additive support to up to ten mid-cap companies, the Fund will support their growth, job creation and more responsible business practices.

The fund will target between three and five of its investments into companies focused on innovation in financial services.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

Nigeria (c.45%), Ghana (c.40%), and Côte d’Ivoire primarily, with limited exposure to other West African geographies upon investees’ cross-border expansion.

Likely to be those seeking semi-skilled and skilled labour.

Consumers

Nigeria (c.45%), Ghana (c.40%), and Côte d’Ivoire primarily, with limited exposure to other West African geographies upon investees’ cross-border expansion.

Consumers, farmers, micro-entrepreneurs, including lower-income rural and peri-urban consumers and entrepreneurs.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

No track record available. Based on CDC benchmarks for African mid to large-cap companies, Uhuru could help support the creation of c.1,600 jobs over the lifetime of the fund.

Potential for large scale, particularly for businesses leveraging technology.

Likely deep due to growing unemployment in Nigeria and Ghana, and increasing job quality issues in Côte d’Ivoire. Over 90% of employment in these countries is in the informal sector and informal sector employees record higher rates of poverty: 72.3% in Nigeria (vs. 43.6% in formal sector) and 25.6% in Ghana (vs. 12.6%).

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: We were an anchor investor and in the first close; our capital will enable Uhuru to reach its minimum fund size.
  • Value additionality: We will provide knowledge and advice to this first-time team about building a sustainable platform and implementing best practices on environmental, social and business integrity issues

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.

3.0-3.4

Risk

Execution Risk
  • There is risk surrounding a first-time team’s ability to source and grow quality companies. This risk should be, to some extent, mitigated by our support to the GP, and will be monitored through our standard monitoring processes.
Alignment Risk
  • The fund's strategy permits it to invest in a broader range of sectors than BII's priority sectors. The pipeline at investment indicates close alignment with our priority sectors, however, we have been more conservative in our assumptions around potential employment creation.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We worked with the fund manager to develop and implement an ESMS for this first-time fund.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D2702
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    Africa, West Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Communications & IT services, Consumer - other services, Financial services, Manufacturing

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Fund
    Start date :
    March 2021
    Amount :
    $15m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Fund Manager:
    Uhuru Growth Partners
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Luxembourg

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit https://www.uhuruinvestment.com/

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Everyday Group Nigeria West Africa Consumer - other services December 2021 Active
Impact Life Ghana West Africa Financial services December 2021 Active
Royal Foam Products Nigeria Limited Nigeria West Africa Manufacturing March 2023 Active
Solutions de Transformation Digitale Pvt. Ltd Cameroon Central Africa Communications & IT services March 2024 Active

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