Joining the African Venture Capital Association’s Board of Directors’ meeting, I sit awaiting my turn to present on the crucial role communications has played in supporting the Association in recent months.
I am privileged to a sneak preview of some ground breaking research, collated over several months. Given the need – which we hear reiterated over and over again in our work with all our African clients – for independent and well-researched data on the African markets, I think it is worth summarising here.
First, Cambridge Associates, in partnership with AVCA, has developed the first African PE Performance Benchmark, which serves to help investors assess and participate in private investment opportunities in Africa. The findings of the benchmark were wide-ranging, as illustrated by the resulting media coverage, but a key headline was that African private equity funds outperformed US venture capital over last decade. All good news for Africa.
The positive stories didn’t stop there: AVCA and Ernst & Young also announced their joint research on African private equity exits. Private equity is a clear winner; the research shows that African PE firms are not only making excellent headway with generating exits, they are making strong returns in the process – almost double that of the JSE All Share Index.
When the research later broke to the packed hall of 400+ delegates here in Cape Town, Twitter went wild. The appetite for research of this kind is clearly huge from industry and media alike, with most of the afternoon of day two spent facilitating journalist calls and appearances on CNBC. It will be interesting to follow the impact these regularly updated reports have on the industry in months and years to come.
Read more on AVCA’s conference from The Economist’s Boabab correspondent, here.