CGD Podcast: Unlocking Private Investment in Africa with Nick O’Donohoe and Frank Aswani

March 21, 2024

What are the biggest hurdles to private investment in African countries? 

One is the volatility of African currencies, says Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of British International Investment (BII). High risk is another, says Frank Aswani, CEO of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA). 

As in many areas of development, hitting the right balance of local engagement and international support is crucial. Large, established investors like BII can often take on higher-risk investments and "step forward when others are stepping back," Nick says. At the same time, "there's a lot of money on the continent... that we need to be a lot more deliberate about unlocking," Frank says. "There's a general perception that impact capital is foreign capital. And we've got to start thinking about, how does foreign capital supplement our own local capital?"

Join us on the CGD podcast as we dive into the purpose and goals of BII and AVPA, the impact of a "funding winter," and how the public and private sectors can fill the financing gap for budding entrepreneurs across the continent.


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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.