Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Private equity to help build up Sierra Leone

Irish Times - by Niall O Cathasaigh -   Sierra Leone's allure, at least to foreign investors, has always lain in its diamond deposits. The fact that they yielded "conflict" or "blood" diamonds, whose sale was used to help fund the battles that ravaged the impoverished African country, did little to dent their appeal. Now, with the onset of peace in Sierra Leone, a new initiative called the Sierra Investment Fund is seeking to broaden the focus of foreign investors. The Sierra Investment Fund is raising a $20 million  private equity fund to invest in home-grown businesses in the country.In recent years, the importance of private equity as an investment class that stimulates growth has been widely acknowledged. Private equity has played a disproportionate role in catalysing wealth creation by entrepreneurial individuals as well as nations. Whilst venture capital is a relatively new concept in Ireland, venture backed companies in Ireland already account for 6 percent of jobs in the financial and business sector. (read more)