Prudential Financial has established a $350m investment partnership with LeapFrog Investments to expand its insurance operations in African countries.

Managed by LeapFrog, the new investment vehicle will focus on life insurance companies in African countries, including Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

Prudential’s international businesses COO and executive vice president Charles Lowrey said: "This investment expands Prudential’s footprint into Africa, a continent that we believe offers tremendous potential for growth over the long term."

The partnership will invest in the life insurance firms over a three to five-year period.

LeapFrog Investments founder and CEO Dr Andrew Kuper said: "The global insurance industry is looking for ways to close the protection gap for millions of people in emerging markets."

Prudential, an investor in LeapFrog’s most recent private equity fund, is also member of the LeapFrog Insurance Innovation Circle, which is a knowledge-sharing and innovation initiative that convenes insurers and reinsurers.

With operations in the US, Europe and Latin America, Prudential Financial provides a wide range of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management.