AFRICA – Cauris management’s Yeelen Financial Sector Fund has so far raised US$37.92 million of its US$70.4 million target. 

The Yeelen Financial Sector Fund is a private equity fund that will invest equity and quasi-equity in 10 to 12 small size financial institutions in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). 

The fund will invest in high growth tier 2 and tier 3 financial institutions insurance companies that develop micro and meso insurance products and fintech in the WAEMU zone. 

The African Development Bank recently revealed it is proposing US$13 million equity investment at first closing alongside regional commercial investors such as the West African Development Bank (US$16.47 million); The Ivorian Pension Fund (US$9.91 million), the Atlantic Finance Group (US$2.7 million), the Sanchez Group, the NSIA group and private investors such as Zeena Trust (US$.65 million), Groupe CFFOA (US$1 million), Sonavie Mali (US$985,000), Paul Derreumaux (US$270,840), SCI Togo (US$82,330) and Yeelen Capital (US$162,000). 

The fund will be managed by a consortium led by Cauris Managemnt, with three other experts in the financial and insurance sectors in Africa. 

Cauris Management has successfully operated within the target zone for the last 25 years and had gained valuable experience dealing with small-sized companies and financial instutions lending to SMEs.  

Yeelen Financial Fund L.P. is a 12-year investment fund domiciled in Mauritius and Lomé. It is targeting a final capitalization of €65 million to create nearly 1,500 jobs, 40% of which are for women. Investors in the fund also include the West African Development Bank (BOAD), banks and agricultural promoters.  

The aim is to help these institutions comply with regulatory requirements in terms of minimum capital and equity; to support their expansion by widening their reach to financially excluded populations and by developing credit and insurance products adapted to their conditions. 

Ultimately, Yeelen aims to create nearly 1,500 jobs, 40% of which are occupied by women, and encourage and help banks and insurance companies to develop innovative products using digital finance (microinsurance, micro – loans, climate insurance, savings products), with the aim of empowering women and young people, and ultimately reducing poverty. 

The Yeelen Fund aims to finance and strengthen the capacities of banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies offering products that meet the needs of SMEs, women and rural populations. It thus aims to lift these populations out of precariousness and to improve their living conditions. 

Founded on January 10, 1994, in Dakar, the WAEMU’s main objective is the construction, in West Africa, of a harmonized and integrated economic area. Eight coastal and Sahelian states make up the WAEMU: Benin, Burkina, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.