GLOBAL - The medical foundation Wellcome Trust is seeking to increase its exposure to Africa, where it plans to invest as much as $1.5bn (€1.1bn) over the next five years.

Speaking at the third annual PEI Africa Forum, Wellcome Trust chief investment officer Danny Truell said the medical foundation would triple the amount of capital it has already invested in Africa by that time.

The $26bn UK-based medical foundation, which currently has $500m of capital invested in the continent, plans to increase this figure to $600m by the end of this year.

Wellcome Trust has so far entered three investment partnerships in Africa, two of which make private equity investments, added Truell.

Both of these are "partnerships of two", rather than traditional private equity fund structures with multiple limited partners and one general partner.

Respecting private equity, Truell warned that the traditional fund structure - 10-year long funds with multiple limited partners - may no longer be of interest to The Wellcome Trust.

"Partnership is about culture and alignment of interest of what we want to do," he said. "We are not interested in buying an asset and 'flipping' it."

Truell also said the alignment of interest applied to both general partners and limited partners.

"We don't invest in partnerships alongside supranationals, governments or development finance institutions," he said.