Sir Bob warns pensions may miss out on Africa

Financial Times | 20 June 2010

By David Rowley

Sir Bob Geldof has warned UK pension funds they are missing out on the “last great investment opportunity left” by not placing money in Africa.

Sir Bob, who has campaigned on Africa for the past 25 years, made the remarks at an event organised by CDC, a government backed institution that makes private equity investments in sub-Saharan Africa.

He said investors had five to 10 years left to grab the best opportunities, many of which were being snapped up by Chinese investors.

Asked specifically about UK pension funds, he said they were “behind the curve. There are pension funds around the world that have got stuck into this.

“Where is your money safest? Africa – that’s the truth. The fundamentals are staring you in the face.”

These include 200m new consumers emerging over the next five years; 25 per cent of the world’s available arable land at a time of looming food shortages; and a potential £24,000bn (€28,703bn, $35,546bn) worth of mineral deposits in the Congo.

“Infrastructure, mobile phones, consumer goods, it’s all growth,” said Sir Bob. “There is a massive amount of investment going in there because of extractive industries and this will flow into other areas,” he added.
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