The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a US$500mn equity investment to Agvance Africa, the first agribusiness-focused fund of funds on the continent.

Created by AfDB to boost investment in African agriculture, Agvance will be managed by Credit Suisse Customised Fund Investment Group (CFIG), and is anticipated to invest in 12 to 15 private equity funds targeting companies along the agribusiness value chain and across the continent.

“The strategic objective of Agvance Africa is to increase private investment flows into the agribusiness sector on the continent to address growing food security concerns and unleash the largely unexploited potential of African agriculture and agribusiness sectors,” says AfDB.

Agvance Africa is the first initiative of this nature on the continent, and reflects a desire expressed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the African Export Import Bank to improve business competitiveness and boost intra-African trade.

However, AfDB believes funding is not sufficient to boost African growth, and the lack of inter-country political cooperation is the main obstacle slowing down trade on the continent.