CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance arm, has recruited Dolika Banda as its Africa regional director as it looks to increase direct lending activity on the continent.
She will be working in collaboration with CDC’s investment teams to ensure its capital commitments on the continent comply with the organisation’s overall strategy.
Banda will join CDC from the International Finance Corporation, the private investment unit of the World Bank, where she worked for 16 years. She was most recently the institution’s director for financial markets, overseeing a portfolio of $5 billion across sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. She began her career at Citibank and Barclays in Zambia.
“Dolika is a hugely experienced investor who really understands the needs and opportunities facing African companies, particularly at this time when CDC is actively focusing its efforts on supporting the businesses that can create jobs and opportunities across the continent,” commented Diana Noble, CDC’s chief executive, in a statement.
The institution, which traditionally deployed its capital by committing to third party funds, recently took steps to boost its direct debt and private equity investing capabilities.
Last November, it provided a $32.5 million of quasi-equity loan to Export Trading Group, as part of a $210 million transaction that saw The Carlyle Group, Standard Chartered and South Africa-based Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund acquire a minority stake in the company. It also pledged $30 million to Investec’s Africa Credit Opportunities Fund I, sub-Saharan Africa’s first corporate debt fund.
Both transactions were respectively led by CDC’s equity investment and debt and structured finance teams, two divisions the institution created last year to better seek and monitor direct investment opportunities.
CDC also recently redefined its geographical remit, deciding to solely focus on developing countries of south Asia and Africa. Around 43 percent of its investments, totaling £171 million (€199 million, $255 million) were made in Africa last year.
CDC expects to recruit up to three additional regional directors to help it further these new strategic objectives.