The global alternative asset management firm in partnership with Finatrade Group, one of the largest food manufacturing and distribution companies in West Africa, are investing in Shop N Save and GNFoods.
“We are long term investors here, this is not about a trade, it’s not buying a stock, we have a strategy to put a significant amount of money into the FMCG [Fast Moving Consumer Goods] sector in sub-Saharan Africa,” Henry Gabay, CEO, Duet Group told CNBC Africa.
With a population of over 25 million people and a fast growing middle-class in Ghana, Duet believes that the country is particularly positioned to become a food manufacturing hub for the region.
“We are really focusing on supermarkets, food production, retail banking, anything with cash to the consumer, that’s where we would really like to see our investments going,” he said.
As less than 5 per cent of the food consumed in the region is sold through organised retail channels, the food retail sector across West Africa remains one of the most under-penetrated in the world.
“There is no doubt about the growth of the continent. Short term you might have some ups and downs like currently in Ghana with the currency, but in the long run, we believe that this is an absolutely incredible investment,” he explained.
Despite the country’s economy still facing numerous headwinds such as the removal of the fuel subsidy late last year and the hike in utility bills has put pressure on consumer spending, Gabay is still confident of the country’s potential.
“To build a supermarket chain, you are not doing that overnight. We are building a supermarket chain for the next ten years in the country. In addition to that, we believe that if you specifically talk about the currency control and things like that, it’s going to be short term,” he added.
The Ghanaian economy’s GDP is expected to grow by an estimated 8 per cent this year, keeping the medium term outlook healthy and thus attracting international investors, Gabay believes that the country holds huge potentials.
“On the short term, there are some headwinds but keep in mind that you are coming from 11 to 12 per cent GDP growth between 2009 and 2010. Over the next five years, we expect a 7 per cent GDP growth in the country, so those short term hiccups are just part of the process,” he explained.