Africa Capitalworks

Africa Food and agriculture, Communications and IT Services

Africa CapitalWorks Holdings (ACW) is a new vehicle launched by the CapitalWorks Group, to target mid-market companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

ACW’s strategy will take a generalist approach, but will focus on a few core sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and financial services.

The ACW team takes a hands-on role in its portfolio companies, having representation on the boards of directors, and helping firms to access markets, finance, technology and business networks.

The Johannesburg-based CapitalWorks Group is an independent alternative asset manager which set up operations in 2006.

Permanent capital vehicle investing in mid-market companies across SSA

Our investment

In August 2017, CDC invested $40 million into ACW. The permanent capital vehicle has many of the features of a traditional fund, but with the flexibility to offer longer term capital to investee companies. We are a cornerstone investor alongside South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC). The fund manager aims to raise $300 million that will provide permanent equity capital to support the growth of mid-market companies across sub-Saharan Africa.

Expected impact

Many mid-sized African businesses struggle to raise the long-term capital they need to grow into the type of national and regional champions that bring growth and jobs.

Our investment in ACW demonstrates a commitment to find new ways to meet the different financing needs of the African businesses that can create jobs and deliver long-term growth.

CapitalWorks Group has considerable experience in successfully growing businesses. These include Cipla Quality Chemicals, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Uganda, and Rhodes Food Group in South Africa.

Environmental and social aspects

We will work with the fund managers to develop and implement an Environmental and Social Management System for this first-time fund.

Key facts


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


We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

Communications and IT Services, Food and agriculture
Investment type

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

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Africa Capitalworks Management
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

August 2017

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.


Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Gaselia Industries Group

Gaselia is a West African family-run group specialising in the production of non-alcoholic soft drinks.

View investment details

Africa, West Africa Food and agriculture December 2019 Active
Wingu Africa Group Ltd

Wingu Africa is a data centre that provides low cost, reliable connectivity for businesses in East Africa.

View investment details

Africa Communications and IT Services December 2020 Active

CDC is becoming British International Investment