To Commit or Not: What it Takes to Attract Investment to Africa

Budgetary constraints constitute some of the biggest challenges to development efforts. To circumvent these issues, creative approaches to financing and investment are pursued (e.g. PPPs, impact investing, etc.) with varying results. Global financial commitments have also been advanced to African countries. This panel will explore the constraints of attracting and sustaining funding for long-term investments in Africa. It will also discuss some of the opportunities that lay unturned as a result of limited investment. It will examine the requirements for reducing constraints to investments and discuss some financial and investment models pursued within Africa for Africans to create the future they desire.


Taurai Chinyamakobvu

Taurai Chinyamakobvu
Harvard Kennedy School

Taurai Chinyamakobvu is a Mason fellow and Mid-career MPA at Harvard Kennedy School with more than thirteen years of experience in various sectors such as Banking, Fintech, Telecoms, Software development and Global trading. He is also the Vice President of Finance for the Harvard Kennedy School Students Government. Prior to Harvard, he was the Managing Director for Flocash, a Pan-African online payment gateway operating in many African countries. He was also an advisor for Sub-Saharan Africa for Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese Fortune Global 500 company. Taurai was an inaugural Mandela Washington Fellow under President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative in 2014. He holds an MBA in finance from the University of Zimbabwe. He sat on the boards of various companies and as well as the advisory committee on digital financial inclusion for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. He is also a MEXT Scholar in Japan where he graduated with an MBA in international business and innovation.


Akim Daouda
Chief Investment Officer
Gabonese Sovereign Wealth Fund

Akim Daouda is the Chief Investment Officer of the Gabonese Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) with a mission to secure a solid saving base for the future Generations. He manages the SWF’s full portfolio of USD1.6 Billion of assets under management. He works closely with government entities and private-sector champions on issues related to economic development, industrial growth and transformation.

Additionally, he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gabon Power Company, an Independent power producer platform. The company develops a portfolio of more than USD 1 billion projects. These include adding on to the grid more than 200 MW, providing electricity to more than 80 000 households and drinking water to more than 600 000 people across the country.

Akim sits on several boards and, among others, is the Chairman of the Board of Asonha Energy. A joint venture set up between Gabon Power Company and Meridiam to bridge the energy gap in Gabon.

He began his career with Commerzbank in Frankfurt and HSBC in Paris, as Manager for Structured Trade Finance in the MENA region. In 2018, Akim joined the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders community. He was also selected by Forbes Africa among the Top 10 Choiseul 100 Africa.

Ody Akhanoba

Ody Akhanoba
Manager, Strategy & Innovation, Afreximbank

Ody Akhanoba has held the position of Manager, Strategy & Innovation at Afreximbank since January 2017. In his current role, he is responsible for formulating and implementing various strategic interventions including the Bank’s SME Development Program, the Afreximbank Diaspora Initiative and the Bank’s strategy for supporting the expansion of Africa’s Creative & Cultural Industries. Prior to Afreximbank, Ody held various Corporate Finance / Corporate Strategy roles in Investment Banking over a 10-year period. He was most recently a Vice President within Deutsche Bank’s Strategy Group in London. Ody holds an MBA from London Business School and a BA in Finance from Durham University, U.K.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Zikho Pali is an LLM. candidate at Harvard Law School. Prior to coming to Harvard, she practiced as an attorney for several years and worked for Bowmans South Africa (previously Bowman Gilfillan.Inc), one of the largest law firms in Africa. During this period, she was nominated and appointed by the provincial government as the youngest serving board member at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, the largest hospital in Africa and the third largest in the world. She is currently one of the Co-founders and Vice President of Quro Medical, a private company that is incorporated in South Africa. Quro medical combines the use of technology, mid-level healthcare professionals and specialist oversight to deliver an affordable, quality at-home medical healthcare service.

Phillip Oti-Mensah

Phillip Oti-Mensah
CEO/Managing Director
OmniBank Ghana

Philip Oti-Mensah is the CEO/Managing Director of OmniBank Ghana. He has over 14 years of experience in SME Banking. He was appointed CEO of OmniBank in January 2013; has since led the transformation of the company into a strong reliable brand, with visible employee-focused development.
His broad areas of expertise include strategy formulation, business planning and development, risk management and institution building. He has played key roles in building successful SMEs in Ghana through various platforms over the last decade. During this period, he has achieved consistent growth, profitability and industry leadership for the organizations he has led. Prior to joining OmniBank, Philip held several positions including Deputy Managing Director of ProCredit Ghana, and an audit board member of ProCredit Bank, D.R. Congo.
Mr. Oti-Mensah holds a B.Sc – Banking and Finance and MBA – Project Management from the University of Ghana Business School. He also holds a ProCredit Banker Certificate (MBA Equivalent) in International Bank Management from ProCredit Academy (Germany). He is also a Certified International Change Manager and a member of the International Academy of Business and Financial Management. Due to his virtues of Honesty, Integrity and Accountability, he is a member of the West African Nobles Forum.