Adiwale Fund I

Cote D'Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo and Benin

Adiwale Fund I is an SME fund primarily targeting investments in West Africa focusing on Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali. It is the first fund raised by Adiwale Partners and will make investments in selected industry sectors (FMCG, business services and manufacturing) with commitments of $3-10 million.

Our investment

Following Adiwale’s creation in 2016, CDC leveraged its long-standing relationship with the Partners to encourage the set-up of robust ESG, business integrity, and compliance structures. CDC’s investment in Adiwale underlines our commitment to back fund managers that are aligned with CDC’s mandate of investing responsibly and adding value to promising companies to enable jobs creation and enhanced employment conditions in markets facing accelerating demographic growth and constraints in absorbing their growing labour force.


Promote economic opportunities by creating jobs (SDG targets 8.5, 9.3)


CDC’s commitment will support Adiwale to make investments of $3 to 10 million and provide value add for up to ten SMEs in Francophone West Africa, supporting the SME’s growth and direct employment creation. By achieving exits and top quartile commercial returns, Adiwale can help demonstrate the viability of investing in this market segment, thereby attracting commercial capital into this market in the long term. More commercial investors investing in this space and Adiwale’s fundraising of a follow-on fund would signal positive performance.


Francophone West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Bénin)

Primarily low-income and middle-income.

Grid ScoreContribution

To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

  • Capital not offered in sufficient quantity.
  • By investing early in the fundraising process and supporting the Manager in engaging with potential investors, CDC supported Adiwale in reaching a viable fund size to execute its strategy.
  • CDC will help to reduce execution risks and any negative impact risks through support to the Manager building its platform including E&S, business integrity, and impact processes.
  • Execution: The impact case relies on the Fund’s ability to deliver investee growth to create jobs, and in the longer term the ability to deliver exits and attractive financial returns to attract commercial investors.
  • External: External factors that are independent from the Fund’s performance may dissuade commercial investors from investing in the SME segment in Francophone West Africa. It will take five to ten years and repeated success for more commercial investors to enter this market.

Environmental and social aspects

We are working closely with the fund manager to develop an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) (for this first-time fund). We will support implementation of the ESMS and improve it as the fund begins to invest.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

October 2019

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.