The International Finance Corportation, a member of the World Bank Group, is injecting €15 million in a new private equity fund by AfricInvest, a leading private equity fund manager, to help expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises in North Africa.
The investment is part of a larger effort to support economic growth and create jobs. Globally, the Middle East and North Africa region ranks low in terms of lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of the economy and are crucial for job creation.
IFC’s financing will help Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV to invest in up to 15 companies primarily in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt.
“IFC is a long-time partner of AfricInvest and IFC’s repeat participation in our new fund will send a strong vote of confidence to a range of investors, including those in the private sector” said Aziz Mebarek, AfricInvest founding partner.
“We are looking forward to providing much-needed access to finance to SMEs to help them push beyond the boundaries of their countries and into new markets.”
Private equity investments are crucial for the region’s development and stability as they help create new jobs, drive economic growth, and encourage further investments in related sectors. AfricInvest has already invested in about 136 companies and generated over 13,000 direct jobs across its platform of investment vehicles.
“AfricInvest has been instrumental in promoting the private equity industry across the region,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa”.
“Through this new investment, IFC continues to play a counter cyclical role. It is part of our broader work in the region to support small and medium enterprises and help them create jobs”, he added.