Bridging Africa's Financing Gap

Africa’s economies have been hit by the ensuing Great Recession through reduced trade flows, reduced portfolio flows, and remittances. The fall in demand and, consequently, in the prices of commodities has hit commodity-based economies significantly. The rapid decline in global trade affected all African economies and, to a large extent, explains the lower growth some countries have experienced. The increasing spreads and reduced maturities resulting from the shortage of liquidity in the global financial system have made investment and trade more difficult as well.

Financing infrastructural development, social services, and public administration has proved difficult in recent times. However, the emergence of financing options including Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Diaspora Bonds, and innovative and blended finance are signals of hope.

Still, the benefits of deeper, broader, and cheaper finance have not yet been reaped. Finance in Africa still faces problems of scale and volatility. And the same liquidity that helps reduce volatility and fragility in the financial system is also a sign of limited intermediation capacity in Africa.



Moderator: john ashbourne

John Ashbourne is an Africa economist at Capital Economics, a leading independent economic research company with offices in London, New York, Toronto, Sydney and Singapore. He and his team provide analysis of African economies for clients including major banks, development agencies, and investment firms. John is frequently cited in both the African and Western media. He was previously a senior country risk analyst at BMI Research, a division of Fitch Ratings. John studied economics and international politics at the University of Toronto, the National University of Singapore, and the London School of Economics.

jude addo

Jude Addo is a Director in the Transaction Banking division at Standard Chartered Bank in London. In this role, he partners with European multinational corporates with working capital needs across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, specialising in cash management and supply chain finance in these markets. Jude started his banking career at J.P. Morgan where he spent several years performing various roles across Financial Markets and Corporate Banking. He was recently inducted into the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance, an ecosystem of young African entrepreneurs and intraprenuers spearheading high-impact social and business ventures across the continent. In October 2015, Jude was recognised by the Black British Business Awards as a Finalist for the Rising Star in Financial Services.

oscar onyema

Oscar Onyema is the Chief Executive Officer of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Chairman of Central Securities Clearing System. As the President of the African Securities Exchanges Association, and a Global Agenda Council member of the World Economic Forum, he also serves on the boards of all subsidiaries of The Exchange, National Pension Commission of Nigeria, and FMDQ OTC PLC. He served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at American Stock Exchange. He was instrumental in integrating the Amex equity business into the NYSE. He was listed Forbes Top 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa 2015. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, Baruch College, and Obafemi Awolowo University.

Linda mabhena-olagunju

Linda Mabhena-Olagunju is the Founder and Managing Director of DLO Energy Resources Group, a wholly black female owned independent power producer with a portfolio of wind and solar energy projects. The company is currently building one of Africa’s largest wind farms; awarded “Excellent Projects in 2014” by the South African Wind Energy Association. Linda has been recognized as the “Best emerging entrepreneur” by Forbes Women Africa in the same year DLO was also awarded most innovative black business. She was featured on Oprah’s Power List amongst the 20 most powerful women in Africa. She is an Alumni of UCT and University of Aberdeen.

Vivienne yeda apopo

Vivienne Yeda is the Director General of the East African Development Bank and was previously the Country Manager and Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Zambia. She is an experienced banker and international business lawyer with over 20 years practical and comprehensive development banking, finance and business experience in Africa, and has led multinational and multi-skilled teams in a number of countries. Vivienne has a long track record and practical experience in devising financial and legal solutions to support public and private sector programmes and projects in critical sectors of the economy. She holds an MBA from ECU, An LLM from UCL and LSE, and Bachelor of Law from University Of Nigeria.