XSML invests in Central African transport company

Today, Dutch fund manager XSML announced its investment in Bamara Transports DJ, a road transport company in the Central African Republic (CAR) through its Central Africa SME Fund (CASF). The investment contributes to the much needed development of the transport sector in the CAR.

Bangui, Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is a landlocked country which depends on its neighboring countries for the import of goods. The vast majority of goods arrive by road from Cameroon as air transport is limited due to its high cost and river transport is only possible for six months per year during the raining season. As CAR has almost no industry of itself, the Douala (Cameroon)  Bangui transport corridor is considered to be an important lifeline for the country. However, the local transport sector is poorly developed and more than three-quarters of the carriers are from Cameroon, even though the governments of Cameroon and CAR have agreed that carriers from CAR have the right to transport up to 60% of the freight between both countries to stimulate the development of the local transport sector
Bamara Transports DJ is a new company that will offer transport services between Bangui and Douala. CASF s investment enables Bamara to purchase two new trucks, two trailers and the construction of an 800 liter fuel tank to guarantee a constant supply of diesel for the trucks.

The managing director of Bamara Transports DJ, Mr. Djazouli Mahadjir, states:  our goal is to offer reliable transport services at an affordable price, which is possible as the road between Douala and Bangui is mostly paved. With Bamara Transports DJ we offer a reliable and cheaper alternative for small market traders in CAR that would like to import goods at affordable prices for the local markets .

Jarl Heijstee, Managing Partner at XSML says:  the high costs of transport are a serious bottleneck for the development of the Central African Republic. Besides the high prices, transport between Douala and Bangui is characterized by unreliability of services and a lack of quality. By investing in a small Central African transport company we want to stimulate the Central African transport sector and demonstrate that Central African transport companies can offer reliable transport solutions at a competitive price.

Bamara Transports DJ is the ninth investment made by CASF and its third investment in CAR. CASF is an investment fund investing in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The fund believes in achieving sustainable economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship in the fast growing markets of DRC and CAR. Currently, many opportunities in these countries remain unexploited due to the lack of risk capital and support. The multiplier impact of such entrepreneurial endeavors creates jobs and income. CASF is a USD 25m fund (target) with 80% allocation to DRC and 20% in CAR. CASF will provide risk capital with an investment size ranging from USD 100,000 to a maximum of USD 500,000. Investors in CASF are IFC, FMO and Lundin Foundation.


About XSML

XSML is an independent private equity fund manager with a strategic focus on emerging markets. As an architect building new funds and local fund managers in frontier markets, XSML, eXtra Small Medium Large, aims to grow small businesses into medium and large enterprises.

XSML was founded in 2008. The managing partners have an extensive background in emerging markets in the areas of asset management, corporate and development banking and corporate restructuring. Our experience have shown that demand for finance from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains largely untapped despite increased interest in emerging markets from international investors. XSML bridges this gap between the international investors and the SMEs in emerging markets.


About Bamara Transport DJ

Bamara Transports DJ is a transport company established in 2012 offering transport solutions by road between Cameroon and the Central African Republic. The company has been founded by Mr. Djazouli Mahadjir who is an experienced businessman and trader with several stores on the main local markets in Bangui. The company distinguishes itself by offering reliable transport solutions within the Douala  Bangui corridor.