Investments in agriculture and infrastructure take center stage at landmark investment summit in South Sudan
A new generation of supportive policymakers, the global commodities boom, compelling macroeconomic fundamentals and the unleveraged power of more than a billion consumers underpin Africa’s immense potential for international investors, a senior African private equity leader told attendees at a major investment summit in Juba, South Sudan, yesterday.
“Africa is long on opportunities, but short of capital and short of experienced general partners,” said Marwan Elaraby, Managing Director at Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in Africa and the Middle East with US$ 9 billion in investments under control spanning 15 industries and 15 countries.
“We believe that private equity can play a transformative role in Africa, especially through investments in infrastructure,” continued Elaraby. “We are working in partnership with the government and people of South Sudan to make investments in agriculture and related infrastructure, thereby improving food security in Africa’s newest nation and delivering tangible benefits to the surrounding community.
“Another clear success for us is Rift Valley Railways of Kenya and Uganda, where our early investment in the business allowed us to raise equity and debt of more than US$ 234 million for RVR last year from sophisticated international institutional investors,” Elaraby concluded.
Citadel Capital’s fundraising for RVR made Kenya the largest single recipient of private equity investment in East Africa in 2011, according to independent league tables by Deloitte.
Elaraby’s remarks came as part of his keynote address on “Private Sector Cooperation for Success” at the Republic of South Sudan Investment Summit organized by CWI Summits in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment of South Sudan. The three-day summit runs 20-22 March 2012.
Also attending the summit is Concord Agriculture Managing Director Peter Schuurs, a veteran of large-scale agriculture in Africa who successfully managed to completion the widely acknowledged private-sector keystone of Botswana’s food security.
Schuurs chaired yesterday a high-profile panel on investment in agribusiness and livestock initiatives.
“Experience has taught us that large-scale farming using the latest global best practices is the most efficient, scalable and sustainable way to make significant strides in boosting productivity, while ensuring that smallholders and pastoralist migrants continue to have access to land and resources,” Schuurs noted. “We are further committed to supporting the local community through employment and training opportunities to build the required technical knowledge and skills, in order that they will play a key role in boosting food security and agricultural productivity, for their own benefit, and that of the nation of South Sudan as a whole.”
Concord Agriculture is a 250,000-acre agricultural investment in Unity State, focused on production of locally demanded food crops such as sorghum and maize, as well as sunflowers for cooking oil. The land has been secured on a long-term lease from Unity State and ratified by the Government of South Sudan, so it continues to be owned by the state.
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading private equity firm in the Africa and the Middle East. Citadel Capital focuses on building regional platforms in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity-Specific Funds. The firm’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments of more than US$ 9 billion in 15 countries spanning 15 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, Citadel Capital has generated more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash returns to its co-investors and shareholders (on investments of US$ 650 million), more than any other private equity firm in the region. Citadel Capital is the largest private equity firm in Africa by PE assets under management (2006-2011, as ranked by Private Equity International). For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
Concord Agriculture is a Citadel Capital Portfolio Company operating in the agriculture industry in the Republic of South Sudan. It was formed in early 2009 and holds approximately 250,000 feddans of agricultural land near the city of Bentiu in South Sudan’s Unity State (Welayet Al-Wehda). The land is located approximately 600 kilometers north of the South Sudan capital of Juba.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Peter Schuurs
CEO of Concord Agriculture
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)
g...@qalaaholdings.com (click to reveal this email)
Tel: +20 2 2791-4440
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 16 662-0002