Angola Capital Investment: Contributing to Africa’s Economic Growth Story

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In the last 2 years, Angola Capital Investment (ACI), a private investment firm, has been on the fore-front in terms of promoting investments in the African economy. It has remarkably created global value and excellence for developing countries in Africa, while contributing to their economic development. In this interview with Eruke Ojuederie of African Leadership Magazine, the Chief Executive Officer of ACI, Zandre Campos discusses the successes of the company’s investment in Africa and why Africa is the world’s best kept secret. Excerpts:
ACI in the past couple of years have continued to promote investments into key sectors of the African economy; tell us about the group and some of your successes?
ACI has had many successes in the companies we have invested in. We invest in companies in the healthcare, energy, transportation, hospitality, and real estate sectors.
One the current companies ACI is involved with is Sphera Global Healthcare. Angola Capital Investments in a major investor in the company and I am on the board. Sphera Global Health Care is a unique medical company that specializes in medical services and brings together carefully selected high-level hospitals, clinics, doctors and technologies. The objective is to democratize healthcare services so that people in Angola have access to quality healthcare. Technologies already developed include video conferencing, telemedicine, virtual platforms, apps, and mobile-health. Besides improving communication, the technologies also guarantee the delivery of quality healthcare and reduce unnecessary hospital or clinical visits. mHealth is a mobile app that provides consultation 24/7 for pediatric and general medicine.
In Angola, Sphera Global Health Care’s healthcare technology can also be found in the International Medical Center (IMC). Located in the capital city Luanda, the IMC is an outpatient center that aims to provide the highest level of care. It has an on-site laboratory, other cutting edge technologies, and delivers international medical services. It is run by doctors with international training and has a multidisciplinary team, including family doctors, specialists and nurses.
Also since 2014 we have been conducting pro-bono cataract surgeries in partnership with Barraquer Foundation, dependent of the ophthalmology Barraquer Clinic of Barcelona, one of the most prestigious and recognized ophthalmology clinics in the world. More than a thousand people in need have benefited. We are currently planning the third program for June 2016.
Analysts have continued to discuss Africa’s potentials, with very little progress made in terms of concrete investment in the continent; what in your view is responsible for this trend?
We actually believe there has been tremendous progress over the last 10 years, but we recognize there is still a way to go to achieve our objectives. ACI’s mission is to create global value for developing countries in Africa, while contributing to their economic development. We were founded on the idea of bringing excellence to Africa. We agree that there is a lot of emerging opportunities in Angola including agriculture, mining, and tourism.
Some investors have described Africa as the world’s best kept secret, do you agree with this assertion?
We do agree with this assertion. We believe tourism is a great opportunity for Angola, There are 1550 km of coast, much of which has not been explored. We invest in Bluoshen which has 7 small hotels, 5 in Luanda and 2 in Benguela. While the visa process might be an obstacle to entering the country, we believe visa reform will open up the country. When tourism blossoms here, people will be able to see the beauty of Africa and the Angolan economy will benefit. We also believe Angolan agriculture is a well-kept secret. Before the civil war in Angola coffee and cotton were major exports of the country, and the coffee was considered some of the best in the world. While people moved to the coast during the war, the center of the country is now open and ready to be cultivated. Angola has 2,000 acres of unused land that when prepared can be used for farming. ETG is an agriculture company we invest in. ETG is globally recognized as one of the fastest growing integrated agricultural supply chain groups.
You have consistently written about the opportunities inherent in Africa’s health sector; noting that PPP would help in improving health care delivery in the continent; what would you say is responsible for the slow pace of response from stakeholders?
Investment in healthcare is important. As the population continues to increase, we are looking to bring better healthcare to the country. Malaria and yellow fever still spread very rapidly, and it is something that can be avoided. We are working with CIMA Centro de Investigacao Medica Aplicada from clinica de Navarra e Universidade de Medicina de Pamplona on the development of a malaria vaccine.
We do believe that strengthening public and private partnerships would help improve health care in the continent. Sphera is working closely with the public sector to develop health care centers in Angola. I don’t believe there is one party or person to be held responsible.
The sectors which ACI invests in are some of the big sectors driving African economies. What influenced your selection of sectors as against other equally viable sectors of economy?
We believe Africa has a lot to offer, and that there are many opportunities. While oil has been a major force and helped Angola grow after the civil war, the recent oil crash shows the need to invest in other sectors. It gives Africa the opportunity to grow.
As an innovative business leader and global entrepreneur, in what ways have you helped to empower African youths towards towing the path of entrepreneurship?
Youths in Angola have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I have helped mentor dozens of entrepreneurs in Angola. For example, recently I sponsored four individuals I had seen on television presenting an innovative solution that was develop by them, and I decided to support them and sent them to China. Now they are finishing college in China and have already developed a APP in China. Next year my plan is to send them to the USA, before they come back to Angola and help change the country.

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