Washington, D.C. – The ACDI/VOCA Group, including its affiliates Tanager and AV Ventures, is proud to announce its membership with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA). ACDI/VOCA’s involvement focuses on CCA’s priority areas of food security and agriculture. This partnership will foster collaboration and coordination on urgent topics of mutual interest, providing valuable resources, connections, and insights to further the establishment and strengthening of agricultural trade and investment relationships between the United States and African firms.
The announcement was made during the Members Meeting and Luncheon held on April 25, 2023. During the luncheon, CCA also announced its upcoming 2023 U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Gaborone, Botswana, which CCA is co-hosting with the Government of Botswana. The summit will bring together African and American business leaders, policymakers, and investors to explore opportunities and challenges in various sectors, including food and agriculture.
Speaking at the luncheon, Florizelle Liser, President and CEO of CCA, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership with ACDI/VOCA, saying, “We are delighted to have ACDI/VOCA on board as a member of CCA and a partner in our efforts to advance economic growth and development in Africa as ACDI/VOCA’s expertise in agriculture and food security will be invaluable to our members and stakeholders as we work together to foster mutually beneficial business relationships between the United States and Africa.”
Sylvia J. Megret, President and CEO of ACDI/VOCA, highlighted similar sentiments, stating, “ACDI/VOCA is eager to collaborate with the Corporate Council on Africa to champion relationship strengthening between the United States and Africa and support sustainable economic growth on the African continent.”
The ACDI/VOCA Group is currently raising funds for the new West Africa Agri-SME (WAAS) Fund, through its impact investing subsidiary, AV Ventures. The WAAS Fund focuses on the nexus of agriculture, climate adaptation, and women’s empowerment opportunities in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso. The $30 million fund will include a $5 million catalytic capital layer and will be paired with an additional $5 million in technical assistance facility to ensure pre- and post-investment support.
The WAAS Fund will build on the strong foundations of AV Ventures’ current $3.6-million Ghana pilot fund, backed by the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The ACDI/VOCA Group’s unparalleled leadership in creating economic opportunities for smallholder farmers and marginalized communities around the world and in West Africa created the foundations for the fund’s success. AV Ventures plans to further leverage ACDI/VOCA’s extensive West African network of capacity building initiatives and agriculture, business, and market experts to develop a pipeline of investable opportunities that support high growth potential entrepreneurs and de-risk investment into the WAAS Fund. Ovidiu Bujorean, Director of Partnerships & Investment, will represent ACDI/VOCA in discussions related to the partnership, as well as attend the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Botswana to further discuss practical ways to expand collaboration in the field of agriculture, food security, and climate adaptation for West Africa and across the African continent.