To bolster economic and social growth in Africa, the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) has announced the establishment of the AVCA Training Academy (“AVCA Academy”) to provide private investment professional development across the continent. This is a first-of-its-kind in the industry and is aimed at supporting private investment professionals interested in Africa, by providing an agile and innovative learning platform tailored to Africa’s dynamic and diverse market.
The AVCA Academy will play an instrumental role in catalyzing investment into the asset class by deepening the capacity of African institutional investors to navigate investing in private equity, venture capital and private credit, and by supporting fund managers through their capital raising, deployment and exit journey. Program delivered through the AVCA Academy will have Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certification, demonstrating the credibility of the institution and its program.
Given the lack of diversity of institutional investor capital in Africa-focused PE and VC funds to date, there is a critical need for the AVCA Academy. Participants will be able to discover the opportunities and challenges involved in investing in Africa through real-life, practical case studies. Through the synchronized learning platform, participants will also be provided with detailed resources to support independent learning. The AVCA Academy is an educational institution that will provide bespoke content through an immersive and blended learning approach for both remote and classroom-based participants involving subject matter and industry experts from across Africa.
Abi Mustapha-Maduakor, Chief Executive Officer at AVCA said, “The AVCA Academy is our solution to the increasing need for a platform to support first-time fund managers through the fundraising and investment lifecycle. We believe that education is the key to unlocking growth in this sector. Education should provide the inspiration and support needed to get African private equity on track to shape an economic global powerhouse of the future.” She added, “African institutional investors currently have less than 1% invested in private equity as an asset class so there is work to be done to unlock domestic capital. African pension funds have an additional US$29 billion to invest in PE which could double the size of the African PE industry.”
The AVCA Academy is currently sponsored by FSD Africa – a specialist development agency supported by UK Aid, working to build and strengthen financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Evans Osano, Director – Capital Markets at FSD Africa said, “FSD Africa is pleased to partner with AVCA on this innovative e-learning platform. Leveraging an e-learning platform to deliver high-quality training and knowledge development is particularly relevant given the ability to transcend barriers such as travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and high costs associated with physical training sessions. We believe it will be essential in unlocking a growing institutional investor base in Africa to invest in transformative sectors through private capital markets. Through the Africa Private Equity and Debt Program, FSD Africa is also supporting research, the development of policy and regulations aimed at improving access to private capital and supporting demonstration transactions.”
According to AVCA’s 2020 Annual African PE Data Tracker, between 2015 and 2020, the total value of the 1,257 PE deals reported in Africa reached US$21.7bn. While deal volumes have maintained an upward trend, their value has gradually eased, suggesting growing investor interest despite smaller deal sizes. Yet, this is a small step on a long journey to increased growth of the asset class. Through this institution, fund managers will receive support around fundraising, value creation, and ESG, while institutional investors will receive support for fund manager evaluation, governance, and reporting. Professional services firms including law firms, fund administrators and industry regulators will also be provided with legal agreement training, GP/LP relationship management, and regulator training. “The kind of training provided through the Academy will help catapult private investment in Africa and ultimately boost gross domestic product (GDP) and economic growth across the continent,” Mustapha-Maduakor added.
The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association is the pan-African industry body which promotes and enables private investment in Africa. With a global and growing member base, AVCA members span private equity and venture capital firms, institutional investors, foundations and endowments, pension funds, international development finance institutions, professional service firms, academia, and other associations.
FSD Africa is a specialist development agency working to reduce poverty by strengthening financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Based in Nairobi, FSD Africa’s team of financial sector experts work alongside governments, business leaders, regulators, and policy makers to design and build ambitious program that make financial markets work better for everyone. Established in 2012, FSD Africa is incorporated as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in Kenya. It is funded by UK aid from the UK government.
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