AfDB: supporting African development
Over the course of the year African Development Bank (AfDB) has been instrumental in developing the African economy.
The bank's overall objective is, to continuously spur sustainable economic development and social progress within the region to reduce poverty. With its multiple investments over the last few months such as Egypt, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Eastern and Southern Africa, Ghana, Benin, Malawi and Sudan, it has certainly been living up to its ambition.
However, its efforts haven’t stopped there. Just this week, AfDB has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to further support African development.
“To tackle the multitude of urgent development challenges facing Africa—from infrastructure development to financial inclusion and food security—collaboration with like-minded partners is essential,” said Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer of, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). “The MOU signed today will help harness the diverse strengths of DFC and the African Development Bank to make tangible progress on our shared goals across the continent.”
The partnership will leverage the collective resources of both the AfDB and DFC to more effectively mobilise private capital for development goals in Africa, as well as strengthen cooperation on business development, due diligence, and ongoing monitoring of joint projects.
“The partners will focus on priority sectors including critical infrastructure, power and energy, financial services, and agriculture, and prioritise investments that empower the region’s women. Through these efforts, DFC and the Bank aim to invest a combined US$2bn, with a goal of mobilising an additional US$3bn from the private sector alongside their investments. Doing so would support total investment of US$5bn in regional development projects. The partners will use debt financing, equity investments, political risk insurance, and other financial tools to meet these goals,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group.
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
Image source: AfDB
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.