Africa Frontiers Fund
A multi-strategy framework is used to identify undervalued, income generating, niche investments in East Africa.
Investing in Rising Africa
Global investors can no longer afford to ignore the growth of Africa. The total economic output of Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to reach over $2 trillion by 2020, up from just $300 billion in 2000.
Pro-market economic reforms, favorable demographic developments, and the adoption of new technologies also contribute to a steadily improving investment environment.
The rise of the middle class is also likely to boost returns in Africa over the next several decades. IFC expects Africa’s combined middle and high-income groups to reach 160 million people by 2030. That’s an increase of about 100 million, more than the entire population of Germany.
Africa Frontiers Fund
The Africa Frontiers Fund is a portfolio managed by Joel Mwaura and is focused on East Africa with a special interest in Kenya. The fund will pursue niche investment opportunities at attractive valuations, with a moderate level of risk. Liquidity and capital safety will be of paramount importance.
We view Kenya as the largest economy in East Africa and the entry point into most East and Central African economies. The country’s road and telecom infrastructure, educated and growing population, and geographic location make this the country of choice for accessing Africa.
“Kenya has the potential to be one of Africa’s success stories”
The Fund makes investments in listed equities, fixed income securities (government bonds), and makes private debt and equity investments to companies operating in Kenya. It will be diversified across asset classes with public equities, government bonds and real estate assets comprising the largest holdings. The investment manager will also target government privatizations and event-driven special situations.
35%-45% Publicly listed equities
15%-30% Private Equity/Real Estate
10%-25% Short and medium-term Government securities
Since 2008, Joel has developed a special interest in Kenya and various other countries in the region, including Ethiopia and Rwanda. With significant financial analysis, auditing, hedge fund compliance, and real estate experience, Joel has identified public and private investments that will benefit from the rapid GDP growth, infrastructure needs, and rising incomes. He also maintains a broad network of business owners, accountants, and lawyers across Kenya.
Major Sectors of Opportunity in Kenya
Infrastructure and Real Estate
The rapidly rising population in Kenya, including a growing middle class and rural-urban migration, have supported the strong backdrop for the real estate market. The development of adequate infrastructure is also vital to supporting growth in Africa.
We expect government privatizations of vital infrastructure including ports, highways, and power plants to provide opportunities for investors. The African Development Bank is also active in providing financing structures and vehicles to support direct investment.
By 2035, the number of Africans entering the workforce will exceed the amount from the rest of the world combined. With government resources stretched to provide adequate schooling, there is a large opportunity for private investors in education across Africa. In addition, parents across Africa have seen the positive returns that accrue from education, so they are willing to pay for private schools at all income levels of society.
There is an expected increase in the demand for Kenyan macadamia nuts in the domestic market. The middle class population is driving the increase in domestic demand. More aggressive marketing efforts internationally, the trend toward nuts and healthy eating, and rising incomes have driven sales in China, Europe and the US.
Due to the current high demand for the Macadamia nuts and the expected increase in its demand, there has been a deliberate effort to increase productivity of macadamia nuts in Kenya through better farming methods, and research into better plant types. Please contact us for more about the Africa Frontiers Fund.
Joel Mwaura – Portfolio Manager, Africa Frontiers Fund
Joel Mwaura is a Portfolio Manager at Ashton Global and a specialist in risk management and niche investments, especially in emerging and frontier markets. Joel is an experienced accountant who has worked for Big Four Accounting firms as a member of financial services audit teams for commercial banks, investment companies and pension funds. Joel also has substantive experience as a Financial Controller in Bermuda and has Internal Audit experience with the Audit Department of the Government of Bermuda.
Joel is a Qualified Accountant and has a certification in Financial Risk Management (FRM). He is also a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA), Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and the Institute of Certified Professional Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).
Proprietary screens and a global network are used to identify niche, small-cap, and event driven opportunities in international markets. Additional alpha is created through unique special situations and private investments, mainly in Bhutan.
Our mission is to generate strong risk-adjusted returns by financing sustainable businesses run by exceptional management teams. We have a four pillar investment strategy focused on disciplined underwriting, better structuring, intensive loan monitoring and risk mitigation.
An investor should consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing or sending money. This and other important information about the fund can be found in the fund’s prospectus, or, if applicable, the summary prospectus. Any decision to invest in Ashton Global funds should be made on the basis of the current prospectus, which is available on request at email@example.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing. All investing involves risk, including potential loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the fund will achieve its objective. Investing in emerging and frontier markets can involve risks such as having less publicly available information, higher volatility, and less liquidity than in the case of developed markets. Overweighting investments in certain sectors or industries increases the risk of loss due to general declines in the prices of stocks in those sectors or industries.