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Innovative financing key for emerging markets’ sustainable growth – Experts

By Nkiruka Nnorom 
Participants at this year’s African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s (AVCA) 18th annual conference have emphasised the need to employ innovative financing to support emerging markets, including Nigeria, through innovative capital partnerships that would build more climate resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies.
The conference, tagged: “Private Capital in Africa at a Crossroads: AVCA’S Annual Conference Returns to Chart a New Way Forward for an Evolving Industry”, chronicled the recent developments and challenges of private capital in Africa, such as foreign exchange volatility, complex regulatory environments and General Partner (GP) strategies that led to success across fundraising and deal-making during unprecedented times.
Speaking, Tariye Gbadegesin, Managing Director/CEO, ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited, stressed  the need to make the infrastructure equity asset class more attractive for investment, saying that ESG in Africa has historically focussed on risk management and the protection of returns. 
 “It is now a strategic position. Our investments must safeguard and improve our communities”, she added. 
Insisting that committing to Africa is not at the expense of returns, Ziad Oueslati, Co-Founding Partner and Managing Director, AfricInvest, said the next phase of private investment in Africa should show the world that “many local GPs create value and succeed in Africa. The region is synonymous with positive impact, but at the same time significant returns are achieved.”
Panellists, including Clarisa De Franco, Managing Director & Head of Private Equity Funds, British International Investment, advocated for the need to stimulate participation from a broader set of institutional investors committing to African private equity.
Tokunboh Ishmael, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Alitheia Capital, said that the future of private capital in Africa should include more African local partners (LPs).
She said that domestic capital was mission-critical to ensure that home-grown players occupy a worthy share of voice and participate in the growth of Africa’s future economies.

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