Bob Geldof, in Australia to spruik his upcoming Boomtown Rats concert but also his private equity fund in Africa – 8 Miles – called on major super funds to choose Africa as their next alternative investment option rather than China.
In response to queries about Africa’s transparency Geldof cited the following numbers regarding corruption.
“You don’t have transparency in China – 13 per cent of GDP in China goes to corruption,” he told delegates at the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds in Brisbane last week.
In SE Asia that number is 11 per cent and in continental Africa it is close to 6 to 7 per cent.
“You should be going to the developing countries, you should be putting money into them, its long term, they’re building like crazy,” he says,
“It’s almost a responsibility to look at alternative assets [in Africa]. Asia is old.”
“Getting into Africa is like being the first investors into Facebook.”
8 Miles had its first $200 million close last year and Geldof said the final close of $450 million would be in July this year.
Africa has the fastest growing middle class in the world, the most under-banked and the most underinsured. In seven years time, they will have the youngest working age population in the world.
According to Geldof, only 25 per cent of African production is in extractables, that is, resources taken from the ground, which means less of the economy is reliant on fluctuating commodity prices.