Ekpe steered the West African expansion process, opening branches in Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Niger and Senegal, and also helping to secure investment funding, such as from Prince Alwaweed of Saudi Arabia, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the West Africa Growth Fund
So far, SSA has attracted just a few foreign funds, namely Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Africa Investment Fund, HSBC Equator Bank's Africa Growth Fund, Africa EM's Fund, (which invests in newly privatised stocks), Framlington West Africa Growth Fund
, and Save & Prosper Southern Africa Fund.
Institutional investors such as the West Africa Growth Fund
also came on board.
Funds with smaller assets are: Merrill Lynch Middle East/Africa Fund, Murray Emerging Economies, Fleming Emerging Markets, Foreign and Colonial Emerging Markets, Kleinwort Emerging Markets, Regent Fund and the Framlington West Africa Growth Fund
With regard to their new West Africa Growth Fund
, he argues "if you believe in a region's economic policies, the best way to benefit from it is to invest in domestic consumption, for example, cosmetics."