Bloc Smart Africa Impact Fund launches with governments of Luxembourg and Cote d’Ivoire as anchor sponsors

February 4, 2021

BLOC Smart Africa (the Fund), a Flagship program of the Smart Africa Alliance, a pan-African initiative to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development, announced its incorporation and sponsorship from the Governments of Luxembourg and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Governments of Luxembourg and Côte d’Ivoire will invest a total of €10 million into the BLOC Smart Africa Fund. The announcement follows the Cote d’Ivoire’s previous intention to commit €5 million, announced at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum in July 2020. BLOC Smart Africa is a blended finance technology impact fund with a fundraising target of $100 million created and managed by Bamboo Capital Partners, the specialist impact investor in emerging and frontier markets.

Smart Africa will support fundraising efforts and collaborate closely by providing access to its technology ecosystems, including incubators and accelerators, and helping source deal flow. BLOC Smart Africa invests in businesses using scalable technology-led solutions that create growth opportunities for underserved communities in Africa.

Jean-Philippe De Schrevel, Founder and Managing Partner at Bamboo Capital Partners commented: “The partners are pleased to welcome the Governments of Luxembourg and Côte d’Ivoire as the first sponsors of BLOC Smart Africa. Their sponsorship will play a crucial role in de-risking the senior tranches of the Fund and attracting institutional investors to this unique investment opportunity. Technology plays a crucial and unparalleled role in scaling impact exponentially on the ground in Africa. This is something we have witnessed first-hand with the growth of mobile banking on the continent in the last decade. BLOC Smart Africa will take this a step further and invest in businesses that use new, scalable technologies to create growth opportunities for underserved communities. We believe that BLOC Smart Africa can make a significant contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals and it is our hope that institutional investors will recognise this and join us.”

Lacina Koné, Director General at Smart Africa commented: “There is a critical funding gap across Africa. The BLOC Smart Africa fund will go a long way in bridging the financing gap between seed and growth stage for hundreds of businesses and in particular Startups in Africa, emerging and frontier markets and is the first-of-its-kind dedicated to helping achieve the SDGs. We will identify high-growth potential Startups to invest in and scale up across the continent. The partnership with the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Luxembourg go a long way towards transforming Africa into a single digital market.”

BLOC Smart Africa is part of SDG500, the $500 million public-private blended finance impact investing platform dedicated to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The investments from the Government of Luxembourg and Côte d’Ivoire will sponsor the first loss tranche of BLOC Smart Africa. The first loss tranche protects senior tranches of funding designed for institutional investors and provides them with a market-based risk-adjusted return that fulfils their fiduciary requirements.


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