Bob Geldof has helped raise almost $200 million for relief efforts in Africa through a private equity fund. 

The former Boomtown Rats frontman, who famously helped to organise concert extravaganza Live Aid in 1985 to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia, fronts a fund for the country called 8 Miles, which deploys money to those in need. 

It is now nearing its close, and new figures show it has raised almost $200 million since its inception - and Geldof hopes Africa's trading industry will be given a boost from the cash. 

He tells Reuters, "Currently 80 per cent of exports from Africa are unprocessed raw materials. There's your opportunity: they need manufacturing." 

"We need their brains and their muscle power, because we're growing older. They are connected (to the global economy) now and cannot be disconnected."