AVCA legal think tank plans more country guides

The African Venture Capital Association also added another industry expert to its legal and regulatory committee. 

More guides are on the way for private fund advisors navigating Africa’s complex regulatory and legal terrain.

The African Venture Capital Association (AVCA) has already launched a series of country-specific private equity guides on Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa. New country guides covering Kenya and Tanzania are being launched at an upcoming AVCA conference in Lagos on April 1.

The guides are produced by an AVCA legal and regulatory committee formed in 2012. The committee is co-led by White & Case lawyer Mara Topping and O’Melveny & Myers lawyer Solomon Wifa. This week the committee appointed its first non-practicing lawyer when it added AfricInvest Group chief legal officer Rafik Mzah, who will help the committee reach more French and Arabic speaking parts of Africa, according to a statement.

The guides are aimed at both African and non-African deal makers and institutional investors interested in picking up the basics of what they need to know about the legal framework of a particular jurisdiction in advance of considering a transaction there, said Topping and Wifa in an exchange with PE Manager.

Many Africa fund advisors are small or mid-sized firms, comprising less than 15 investment professionals that “in many cases have limited capacity to build a sizeable in-house legal function,” said Topping.

“We believe that, through our extensive network of legal firms and professionals, we can help these firms build capacity within their deal teams and support functions by sharing best practices in private equity transactions across Africa.”