Virtual trade deal room launched for West Africa Trade Hub

7th April 2021 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Private sector growth support organisation the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has launched a Virtual DealRoom to provide investors worldwide with information about and access to its pipeline of impact business opportunities in agriculture, financial services, healthcare, water and sanitation, biodiversity, ecotourism, energy, apparel and logistics.

The Virtual DealRoom was launched on corporate data and engagement company Asoko Insight's platform. Investors can access the first batch of select deals on the Asoko Insight website, which represent nearly $30-million in new impact opportunities.

The Trade Hub selected these businesses based on growth stage, geography and industry.

More than 100 select deals in the pipeline will be added to the virtual engagement initiative during the year, Asoko Insight said in an April 6 statement.

The Virtual DealRoom provides global investors, multinationals and development institutions with an effective route to discover, shortlist and engage with African companies. The platform allows investors to connect with a selection of diversified, investment-ready businesses chosen from the Trade Hub’s broader portfolio.

Potential investors and the companies selected are vetted prior to gaining access to the Virtual DealRoom, the company added.

This initiative seeks to reinforce the Trade Hub’s partnerships with foreign and national investors in West Africa to improve the capacity of companies to expand business operations, increase productivity and create jobs, said the Trade Hub's Michael Clements.

“Private sector investment is key to development in West Africa, and the continent in general, but finding and vetting businesses is often a challenge to investors seeking to make an impact. The Virtual DealRoom seeks to help solve this dilemma, and the Trade Hub looks forward to seeing how it will be leveraged to spur economic growth in the region,” he said.

The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub is funded by development agency US Agency for International Development (USAID) and aims to catalyse economic growth in West Africa by using a market-based approach and co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs and increase the value of regional and international exports in West Africa.

“It is exciting to work with USAID and the Trade Hub at a time when it is allocating more resources to private sector development in Africa. Asoko's research and origination work across West Africa illustrates a wide variety of high-quality, innovative businesses that can compete in the global supply chain, but that lack the financing and marketability to break through,” said Asoko Insight COO and co-founder Greg Cohen.

“The Trade Hub has selected a variety of quality opportunities across the region, and we're proud to help them unlock access to these businesses in order to create new local champions,” he concluded.