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CDC Group announces new Heads of Office in Nairobi and Lagos

Africa Global Funds
Nov. 14, 2019, 9:56 p.m.
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CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has appointed Seema Dhanani and Benson Adenuga as Heads of Office for Kenya and Nigeria, respectively.

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CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has appointed Seema Dhanani and Benson Adenuga as Heads of Office for Kenya and Nigeria, respectively.

The appointees’ deep investment experience and strong local networks will be instrumental in advancing and accelerating CDC’s commitment to invest $4.5bn from 2018 – 2021 across Africa, creating impact that contributes directly towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Tenbite Ermias, CDC’s Managing Director for Africa, said: “The appointment of Seema and Benson adds powerful depth to our in-country presence in two leading African markets. Their expertise and insights will be critical in guiding our origination efforts, portfolio management and stakeholder relationships, ultimately accelerating the pace and scale at which we can act.”

Dhanani joins CDC from Mauritius Commercial Bank, where she was Chief Representative Officer for East & West Africa, holding responsibility for the bank’s office in Kenya and overseeing governance, reporting, compliance and strategic client and regulatory coverage across East and West Africa for the MCB Group.

Commenting on her appointment, Dhanani said: “I am delighted to join CDC at such an inflexion point for the organisation. CDC’s commitment to ramp up the pace of its investments as part of the UK’s ambition to become the top G7 investor in Africa by 2022 creates an exciting set of opportunities and I’m looking forward to working with the team to spur the growth of East Africa’s most promising businesses”.

Dhanani previously worked for Standard Chartered Bank as head of Private Clients and Executive Director for Strategic Promoter Initiatives, where she led the offshore business initiatives across the region, deepening engagement with promoter families and on-boarding new private banking relationships.

Prior to this, she spent 12 years working for Standard Chartered Bank in the City of London.

Her long and varied career included setting up an $18bn leveraged credit fund. 

Dhanani will be based in Nairobi.

Adenuga joins CDC Group from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) where he was the Equity Lead for the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with oversight for a wide-ranging portfolio of equity investments across SSA, including banking, insurance, microfinance and other non-bank financial institutions.

Prior to that, he was the FIG’s Hub Leader for Anglophone West Africa, where he oversaw more than 12 transactions totalling over $350m in aggregate value.  

Adenuga said: “CDC’s reputation for investing for impact with commercial rigour and commitment to scaling up investment in Nigeria created a uniquely compelling opportunity for me to join the firm. I’m looking forward to working with the talented team and to supporting competitive and ambitious Nigerian businesses who are ready to take their growth to the next level.”

Before joining the IFC, Benson worked at Actis in West Africa for eight years as an equity investor where he was involved in landmark transactions in the Nigerian market, and at KPMG Professional Services as a Senior Manager in the audit and business advisory services department.

He will be based in Lagos.

CDC has invested for impact in Africa for over 70 years.

It deploys capital and technical expertise to support the responsible and commercial growth of businesses in some of the world’s most challenged markets where the potential for transformation is significant.

CDC works across multiple sectors including financial services, infrastructure, food and agriculture and real estate.

By creating jobs, advancing gender equality, strengthening governance standards and optimising environmental impact, CDC is making a significant and meaningful contribution to Africa’s development.

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