Somalia fund aims to ‘rebuild a nation’

A UK private equity and commodity trading boutique is seeking to raise a $1bn fund to invest in Somalia and neighbouring states such as Kenya and Malawi.

London-based DVK said it was already negotiating deals to supply foods such as rice, flour and edible oils to Somalia, which is slowly emerging from two decades of turmoil, with part-payment in agricultural land that the fund can cultivate.

It is also looking at public-private partnerships to build roads, bridges, hospitals and schools, and opportunities to supply trucks as well as fund cargo aviation.

“It is about rebuilding an entire nation,” said Deepak Kuntawala, founder of DVK, which currently manages $340m in agriculture and real estate funds.

He said the Luxembourg-domiciled, sharia-compliant DVK Africa Development fund had already received $330m of pledges. “There are massive investment opportunities [in Somalia]. People are fighting to get in,” added Mr Kuntawala, who said that at an international aid conference in London earlier this month Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Somali president, was besieged by 200 business people.

DVK is also creating a separate East Africa Core Development fund, aimed more at private investors, particularly from the east African diaspora.

Source:Financial Times

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