Kuramo Capital Management's Commitment to Improving the Lives of People Across Sub-Saharan Africa: Our Investment in Plantations et Huileres du Congo (“PHC”)
March 21, 2021
Kuramo Capital Management (“Kuramo Capital”) is an independent investment management firm founded by Africans to help attract commercial capital to develop the African continent. We help African entrepreneurs grow their businesses and contribute to the economic well-being of their local communities. Over the past decade, we have catalyzed nearly $3 billion in investment capital to more than 200 Africa-based companies that have improved the livelihoods of more than 100,000 people.
One of our most important recent investments, through our managed funds, involves a long-established palm oil business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”). We first invested in Plantations et Huileries du Congo S.A. (“PHC” or the “Company”) as a minority partner in 2017 alongside the CDC Group of the United Kingdom, a leading Development Finance Institution (“DFI”). Our consortium, led by Kuramo Capital, fully took over the business in November 2020 with the goal of ensuring that PHC is a thriving, socially responsible and sustainable company whose success also benefits its host communities. Since then, we have changed the Company’s leadership from a Toronto and London-based foreign management group to a fully indigenous, Congolese team that reflects the communities where it operates. This includes appointing Monique Gieskes, an indigenous female Director General and appointing highly experienced indigenous Congolese to senior ESG and General Manager positions across its operations.
For the first time in PHC’s history, the design of the policies and procedures that will ensure the Company’s success will be in the hands of locals. The Company’s Board meetings are now held in Kinshasa rather than London, and Board members are mostly experienced Congolese individuals. To date, Kuramo Capital and its partners, including several DFIs, have invested more than $200 million in the Company and are working to carry out an extensive Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) to improve the lives of not only the Company’s team members in the field but also their surrounding communities. We are also in the process of creating a dedicated Foundation that will focus on the welfare and livelihoods of our brothers and sisters on the plantations. Walé F. Adeosun, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Kuramo Capital Management, said: “We are committed to PHC, its employees, their families and the surrounding communities. At Kuramo Capital, we were born and raised in Africa, and many of us still live in Africa. ESG principles are embedded in all our investments, and we are committed to ensuring that all our investments achieve success in a responsible manner.”