British International Investment

Africa Improved Foods (Holding) BV

East AfricaFood & Agriculture

Africa Improved Foods (AIF) is a manufacturer and supplier of high- quality and nutrient-rich complementary foods to combat malnutrition for children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in Rwanda and the East African region.

AIF also aims to improve smallholder livelihoods through direct sourcing of some of its raw materials from local cooperatives.

The joint venture is an innovative public-private partnership to address malnutrition at scale, alongside Royal DSM, a leading multinational health and nutrition products manufacturer (as the operator) together with the IFC, and Dutch DFI FMO.

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

We have now exited this investment. This is what we achieved.

Achieved impact

In 2015, we made an equity investment of $4.5 million into Africa Improved Foods (AIF), a public-private partnership with DSM, the Government of Rwanda, IFC and FMO. We invested in AIF to address malnutrition in Rwanda and the wider East African region via the local production of highly nutritious fortified foods.

Our investment in this start-up helped to build a greenfield manufacturing facility in Rwanda, which became operational in 2016. By the time we exited in 2021, the company provided essential nutrition to nearly two million malnourished children per year across five countries and sourced maize locally from 45,000 Rwandan farmers.

Early in our investment, we provided a grant through our technical assistance facility to inform the procurement strategy from local farmers and support the company in developing its inclusive value chain.

Expected impact

In 2015, CDC invested in AIF, through the Impact Accelerator, alongside other DFIs.

There are high levels of chronic child malnutrition in the region. National import barriers and stringent manufacturing requirements had prevented the local development of a suitable high-quality product, allowing community management of malnutrition.

Our investment funded the greenfield construction of a processing facility in Kigali to service World Food Programme (WFP) and local government contracts, as well as commercial retail routes. The facility meets the highest standards set by WFP and the World Health Organisation.

The plant will produce nutritious porridge flours (with added milk, vitamins and minerals) reaching, through the Ministry of Health, vulnerable population segments. These include pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, older infants and young children, especially in the first 1,000 days of their lives. A significant proportion of the plant's products will also be sold to WFP.

In 2017, WFP reached 1.7 million children in South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, and the Rwanda Ministry of Health programme reached 74,916 children and 15,344 pregnant women and nursing mothers. AIF buys its maize and soy from local farmers, and has also created a network of rural collection centres where smallholders can sell their produce without having to transport it large distances. As of 2017 nearly 9000 farmers were included in its supply chain.

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.

    :
    D91
    Status

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

    :
    Exited
    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.

    :
    East Africa
    Country

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.

    :
    Rwanda
    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.

    :
    Food & Agriculture

    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 :
    Equity
    Start date :
    August 2015
    End date :
    December 2021
    Amount :
    $4.5m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Netherlands

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