The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) has announced the launch of its Virtual DealRoom which enables international investors to access Trade Hub information and business opportunities. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade Hub aims to catalyze economic growth in West Africa using a market-based approach. Through its co-investment fund, the Trade Hub intends to attract $ 400 million in new private investment.
The Virtual DealRoom has been implemented on Asoko Insight, a business data and engagement platform providing international investors, multinationals and development institutions with an efficient way to discover, shortlist and engage with African businesses. This innovative platform now enables investors to come into direct contact with investor-ready companies, and in various sectors of the Trade Hub’s extended portfolio. Potential investors and selected companies are screened before accessing the Virtual DealRoom.
The program aims to strengthen partnerships between the Trade Hub and foreign and domestic investors in West Africa in order to improve the capacity of companies to expand their business activities, increase their productivity and create jobs.
“Private sector investment is essential for development in West Africa and the continent in general, but the search for business partners and the process of verifying and auditing companies is often a barrier to investors who want to have a impact ”, underlined Michael Clements, Trade Hub Project Manager. “The Virtual DealRoom helps solve this dilemma, and the Trade Hub is impatient to see how it will be used to stimulate economic growth in the region. ”
Investors can access the first round of deals listed here, which represent nearly $ 30 million in new impact opportunities. The Trade Hub selected these companies on the basis of level of growth, geography and industry. The portfolio of transactions covers a wide range of sectors, including companies operating in agriculture, financial services, health, water and sanitation, biodiversity, ecotourism, energy, clothing and logistic. The Deal Room will add more than 100 transactions to the portfolio during 2021. “It is exciting to work with USAID and the Trade Hub as the project allocates even more resources to private sector development in Africa,” said Greg Cohen, COO and co-founder of Asoko Insight. “Asoko’s research and innovation activities in West Africa reflect the large number of companies that offer quality products and that can be very competitive in the global supply chain, but lack capacity. financing and marketing to break into markets. The Trade Hub has chosen quality opportunities in the region, and we are proud to help companies access these resources to create new leaders at the local level. “