June 5, 2009 / 6:45 AM / 10 years ago

IFC, Gates to invest in Africa healthcare firms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank’s investment arm said on Thursday it teamed up with Bill Gates’s foundation and other groups to form a private equity fund to invest in African healthcare companies.

The Health in Africa Fund, jointly funded by the World Bank’s International Finance Corp, the African Development Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, aims to increase access to healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa by investing in small- and medium-sized private healthcare companies.

“This is a great opportunity to provide health services where it is needed most,” said Lars Thunell, IFC chief executive. “The Health in Africa Fund is a key component of IFC’s $1 billion Africa health strategy, which includes improving the operating environment for companies in addition to providing financing.”

The fund, which is managed by Aureos Capital, has already secured $57 million and plans to finish with between $100 million and $120 million within a year.

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