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Subject: Re: So few non-US SRI funds
From: T. Peter Burgess
Date: 03/17/00
I have been looking for investment vehicles that focus on Africa and have been sadly disappointed. There are few and to a large extent they are using a business and investment model that is unlikely to generate great results for investors, or will do so because of "exploitation" of African natural or human resources.

The poverty in Africa is largely a result of the lack of opportunity -- the greatest concept in the US market economy. While there is a lot of dialogue (and to some extent activity) in the social and political dimensions of development, there is not much going on to reform and refinance African economies. For about 40 years the official development assistance (ODA) community has funded Africa with debt and through government with terrible consequence. With ODA declining, the new plan is to fund Africa with foreign direct investment (FDI), a strategy not much different from the old colonial model for African development that was deemed inappropriate more than 50 years ago. A third element of modern strategy is the dialogue about debt forgiveness, a dialogue that has now been going on for about 15 years with not very much accomplished.

What is missing in Africa are financial resources to invest in small and medium sized African businesses doing profitable things within the African community and the African economy -- a socially responsible form of venture capital. The AfriFund Initiative (Email being launched to bring US capital market funds to African small business to address this critical need. The benefit from profitable small investment in Africa will be enormous, but at the same time there will be substantial corporate profit and capital growth for the investor.

Failure in Africa has largely been connected with big projects, out of scale with the rest of the economy and investments flowing through or under the control of African government. The AfriFund Initiative does not use this business model, but one that has been developed with respect for community priorities in Africa and an apprecation of the latent profit potential that exists because of unexploited natural and human resources

Thank you for allowing me to post this message

Peter Burgess
AfriFund Management Limited


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