In 2011, USAID, together with six partners, announced a first-of-its-kind effort to invest $25 million in the African Agricultural Capital Fund (AACF) which will deliver much needed growth capital to boost the productivity and profitability of Africa's undercapitalized agriculture sector.
Over the next five years, Pearl Capital Partners, a specialized African agricultural investment fund manager based in Kampala, Uganda, will invest the AACF's $25 million in at least 20 agriculture-related businesses in East Africa. The investment infuses equity and expertise into a sector that has suffered from under-investment, and paves the way for raising the productivity and incomes of at least a quarter of a million
In order to attract investors to East Africa's fledgling but increasingly profitable agribusinesses, USAID's Development Credit Authority guaranteed 50 percent of an $8 million commercial loan from J.P. Morgan's Social Finance Unit to AACF. The fund is also supported by $17 million in equity investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The fund will also have access to $1.5 million in USAID-funded business development services, primarily funded under President Obama's flagship Feed the Future initiative, to improve investee companies' operations, competitiveness, and access to markets.