Preqin is currently tracking 16 MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)-based infrastructure fund managers that are either currently raising an infrastructure fund or have raised a vehicle in the past. 20 infrastructure funds raised by these managers have held a final close, raising an aggregate $5.3bn. There are currently seven unlisted infrastructure funds on the road managed by MENA and SSA-based GPs, seeking to raise $3.6bn.
88% of MENA and SSA-based GPs are first-time fund managers, while 6% have raised two vehicles, and a further 6% have raised three or more funds; there is clearly an abundance of first-time fund managers without a proven fundraising track record currently active in the unlisted infrastructure space. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the most prominent GP location within this region, with 31% of infrastructure fund managers based there. Managers located in South Africa represent 25% of the total, followed by Bahrain and Kuwait each with 13%. 6% of these infrastructure GPs are based in Egypt, Mauritius and Morocco respectively.
When looking at the investment preferences of MENA and SSA-based fund managers, the majority will target greenfield and brownfield stage projects, which is unsurprising given the growing demand for new infrastructure development in these countries. 92% of infrastructure fund managers based in MENA and SSA nations will invest in greenfield stage projects, 83% will consider investing in brownfield stage projects, and 42% will invest in secondary stage projects.
Key MENA and SSA-based fund managers currently marketing an infrastructure fund include African Infrastructure Investment Managers and Harith, each seeking to raise $1bn for investment throughout Africa, with a primary focus on South Africa. Other notable firms include EFG Hermes Private Equity, EVI Capital and Instrata Capital, looking to raise $500mn, $400mn and $300mn respectively.