Following the delivery of the Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative (CPPII) which demonstrated that emerging markets and small economies could offer attractive returns for private investors, in 2005 the Commonwealth Secretariat launched the second phase of the Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative (CPPII2), with the aim of focusing on the SME sector and promoting greater coverage.
In partnership with Aureos – private equity fund managers specialising in the developing country SME sector – the project supported the development and delivery of Private Equity Funds into target markets. Supporting a number of activities towards this end, the Secretariat in partnership with other actors including the Administrative Staff College of India, oversaw the deliver of training to 150 managers from investee companies in Africa, the Pacific and South Asia. Other activities included private equity roundtables that provided a catalyst to educating national pension schemes on private equity funds and they manage risk, and providing an opportunity for networking with private equity fund managers and other investment schemes.
The programme’s effectiveness was demonstrated through the geographic spread of the Funds, which over the life of the programme have moved into countries that have smaller economies and riskier profiles in Africa and the Pacific, and through the broad range of sectors in which the Funds have been invested. The overall impact of CPII 2 was illustrated in terms of the growth and diversification of the private equity industry in Africa in particular, as well as the impacts achieved by the investee firms such as increases in employment (including women), taxes paid and foreign exchange earned. In 2010 Aureos had more than US$ 340 million invested in Africa, and its investees paid about US$ 215 million in taxes earned US$ 104 million in foreign exchange and employed over 32,000 people.
Commonwealth Secretariat contributions to this project were £185,000