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18 November 2022

BII's Ope Onibokun on how the DFI is operating in Africa & Asia


Ope Onibokun, Investment Director for Infrastructure & Climate at British International Investment (BII), discusses the similarities and differences of operating in emerging markets in Africa and Asia, the role of non-energy infrastructure and eradicating hunger by reducing food waste.

Ope introduces British International Investment (BII) formerly CDC Group (03.06) and the different types of financing that the UK's development finance institution provides, including funding to commercially viable debt products and long-term financing. Ope then speaks about the similarities and differences of operating in emerging markets in Africa and Asia and the risks involved in infrastructure investments including greenfield risk (09:23). Dissecting the risks in investing in volatile markets he then draws upon a previous deal in Mali and the reliance on government subsidies and need for public support (12:36).

Ope then goes on to discuss SDG2, SDG5, SDG13 and the role of non-energy infrastructure in achieving these goals and eradicating hunger by reducing food waste (15:20) the need for the private sector to play a bigger role in helping to meet the infrastructural needs of emerging markets and attracting local investment such as pension and insurance funds (21:03). As part of BIIs 5-year strategy they have committed to invest in climate finance aligned investment (24:20). For Africa to grow sustainably Africa will need to be developed by Africans (27:26) BII is supporting this through their BOLD initiative investing in local and diverse founders.

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