Swedfund invests US$10m in African Rivers Fund 3 alongside other investors for SMEs

SWEDEN – Swedfund, a Swedish Development Finance Institution, has announced that it has invested US$10 million in African Rivers Fund 3 (ARF 3), together with IFC (International Finance Corporation), the Dutch development bank FMO, BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries) and DGGF (Dutch Good Growth Fund).

African Rivers Fund 3 will primarily provide loan financing to small and medium-sized companies in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Uganda and Angola.

Swedfund will provide up to US$10 million to XSML’s 3rd fund – ARF 3. XSML is a fund manager investing in frontier markets in Central and East Africa.

The fund ARF 3 will be investing, primarily through various debt, or debt-like, structures in small and medium sized companies in Uganda, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Angola.

This investment also provides an opportunity for Swedfund to support further improvement of Environmental, Social and Governance processes, in particular with respect to labor rights, gender and human rights in the fund’s portfolio companies.

In Sub Saharan Africa, nine out of ten jobs are generated in the private sector, with an estimated 80 per cent of these in small and medium-sized companies.

Development Finance Institutions like Swedfund, have a crucial role in helping to increase the number of sustainable businesses and support their growth and resilience in the world’s poorest countries.

In the light of Covid-19 it is more important now than ever to increase access to long-term financing for small and medium-sized companies with the purpose to create jobs.

Therefore, I am very pleased to make this investment to reach vulnerable people demographics in some of the least developed countries in the world says Swedfund’s CEO Maria Håkansson.

XSML was founded in 2008 and is a fund manager investing in frontier markets in Central and East Africa. XSML, eXtra Small Medium Large, aims to grow small businesses into medium and large enterprises.

Swedfund is Sweden’s development finance institution for sustainable investments in developing countries. In order to achieve the goal: a world without poverty, more jobs are required in the private sector and that access to renewable energy is increasing. Investments are therefore made within energy & climate, health and to reach small and medium-sized companies.

As a state-owned company, Swedfund is managed by the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. The operations are financed partly through capital injections for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible and through reflows from the own portfolio.

Swedfund was founded in 1979 and has since the start made more than 240 investments in more than 60 countries.

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