SIFEM - Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets

SIFEM commits USD 10 million to Uhuru Growth Fund I to support SMEs in West Africa

The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) has become the first investor to commit to Uhuru Growth Fund I. SIFEM’s USD 10 million will target businesses with an operating history, established revenues, strong management teams and a competitive position in their markets.

The overall objective is to grow these businesses into leading companies within their sectors, and where a regional strategy is involved, into regional champions. The impact target is to create more and better jobs – and the manager will also aim to enhance workplace capacity and skills development. 

Uhuru Growth Fund I is the first fund of Uhuru Investment Partners, an emerging manager in West Africa founded by a team with local origins who have spent most of their professional careers in private equity. The team has offices in Lagos and Abidjan, this proximity to market is expected to assist with deal-flow and the ability to add value to portfolio investees. Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, the fund’s focus countries, have very low levels of private equity activity, and there is a real dearth of growth capital in these markets.

In addition to SIFEM, Uhuru Growth Fund I is backed by other development finance institutions (DFIs) as well as commercial investors such as Kuramo Capital Management and AfricaGrow, a commercial vehicle blending private funding from Allianz and public funding from KfW of Germany. The development finance investors are the European Investment Bank (EIB), DEG (Germany), CDC (United Kingdom), and Finnfund (Finland). The fund has reached USD 113 million at its first close. 

The capital provided by these investors should also be able to support local businesses in their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and can help boost trade across the continent.

Contact: Simon Denoth, SIFEM Head of Public Affairs,, +41 31 310 09 38

SIFEM Portfolio

Uhuru Investment Partners