UK-based investment vehicle Silk Invest has purchased a “significant minority stake” in Ethiopian biscuit maker NAS Foods.

The move once again highlights the growing opportunity presented by the rapidly expanding markets in Africa.

Although food groups operating in African countries are faced with challenges – particularly related to infrastructure and transportation – these markets are significant in size and growth continues to be fuelled by population growth and an expanding middle class.

Silk Invest said the injection of capital will be used by NAS to build a more scalable infrastructure for its products and fund product development. The investment is typical of Silk Invest’s strategy, which focuses on identifying local SME players who benefit from a low cost base but require capital to fund expansion and build scale.