Afriland First Group, a multinational financial institution led by Cameroonian banking magnate Paul Fokam, has launched an investment holding company in Lome, Togo, as part of its plans to acquire stakes in companies and key investment projects in West Africa.
The new investment firm, Afriland First Holding, which will operate as the investment holding company of Afriland First Group, will be led by Fokam’s son, Christian Fogaing, who is presently one of the managers of Afriland First Bank’s Ivorian subsidiary.
Guy Laurent Fondjo, the current managing director of Afriland First Bank Guinea, will lead the newly launched unit as chairman of its board of directors, working alongside Fogaing.
The launch of the new unit is a strategic move by Afriland First Group, as it plans to become one of the leading groups with active operations in the region’s financial services industry, expanding its broad base of operations beyond banking and insurance.
Fokam founded Afriland First Bank in Cameroon in 1987 as “Caisse Commune d’Epargne et d’Investissement.” Its first branch opened and became operational on July 1, 1988.
Under Fokam’s leadership, the bank has grown into one of the largest commercial banks in Francophone Africa, with subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Liberia, South Sudan, So Tomé and Principe, Uganda, and Zambia.
In addition to having active operations in Africa and also in Geneva, the capital city of Switzerland, where Afriland First Bank is headquartered, the bank also maintains representative offices in Europe and Asia via France and China.
Fokam is one of Africa’s richest men, with a fortune estimated by Forbes Afrique at more than $800 million in 2020, thanks to his well-diversified investment portfolio and company holdings.