U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced the appointment of Walé Adeosun, Founder & Chief Investment Officer of Kuramo Capital Management, to the newly established President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Mr. Adeosun joins a select group of 15 private sector leaders from a variety of industries who have been chosen to advise the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on strengthening commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.

wale4“It is a privilege to serve the President and the Secretary of Commerce as a member of the Advisory Council,” said Mr. Adeosun. “Kuramo Capital Management partners with leading U.S. endowments and foundations and institutional investors to capture Africa’s tremendous growth potential; the Advisory Council provides us with an opportunity to share the perspective of such institutional investors.”

Mr. Adeosun has over twenty years of experience in investing large pools of capital globally, and he pioneered the multi-asset class approach to investing institutional capital in Africa. Mr. Adeosun is the Chair of the Investment Advisory Committee of the $180 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund and a member of the U.S. Eximbank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Committee.

Prior to founding Kuramo Capital Management, he was the Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he had oversight responsibilities for over $1 billion in endowment and pension assets, and transformed Rensselaer’s endowment and pension by diversifying the portfolio into Africa as well as other emerging markets. Prior to Rensselaer, Walé was a Managing Director at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago where he managed $2 billion in public equities and hedge fund assets and also served on the Africa Task Force Committee that guided MacArthur’s Africa program and the establishment of its Nigerian office.

“U.S Government and private sector leaders see tremendous opportunity in Africa, and they want to seize it,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, and the demand for U.S. goods and services on the continent is high. The President’s Advisory Council will be a critical part of our efforts to strengthen our trade and investment ties across Africa, so we can do more business together.”

Secretary Pritzker announced the appointments at Discover Global Markets, a Commerce-led business development forum held in Atlanta that focuses on export opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa, and Mozambique, among others. The event brought together U.S. government officials, visiting U.S. commercial diplomats posted at embassies throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, international business leaders, trade finance experts and others to help businesses identify and develop trade and investment opportunities on the continent.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted the first- ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum. As part of his commitment to deepen engagement between the United States and Africa, President Obama signed an Executive Order (E.O.) at the Forum to promote broad-based economic growth in the United States and Africa by encouraging U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.

The E.O. directed the Secretary of Commerce to establish the PAC-DBIA. The group’s work will focus on advancing the President’s DBIA campaign as described in the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa of June 14, 2012. The PAC will provide information, analysis, and recommendations on U.S.-Africa trade and investment priorities, including U.S. and Africa job creation; developing and strengthening commercial partnerships to increase U.S. public and private sector financing in Africa; and analyzing the effect of policies in the United States and Africa on U.S. trade and investment interests in Africa.

The appointees of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa are:

  • Walé Adeosun – Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Kuramo Capital Management
  • Dominic Barton – Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company
  • J.P. Bilbrey – President and CEO, The Hershey Company
  • Shelley Broader – President and CEO, Walmart EMEA
  • Teresa Clarke – Chairman and CEO, Africa.com
  • Melissa Cook – Founder and Managing Director, African Sunrise Partners
  • Karen Daniel – Chief Financial Officer, Board Member, and Leader of Africa Growth Initiative, Black & Veatch
  • Peter Grauer – Chairman, Bloomberg LP
  • Jay Ireland – President and CEO, GE Africa
  • Kevon Makell – President and CEO, SEWW Energy
  • Edward Mathias – Managing Director, Carlyle Group
  • Martin Richenhagen – Chairman, President, and CEO, AGCO
  • David Storch – Chairman and CEO, AAR Corporation
  • Dow Wilson – President and CEO, Varian Medical Systems
  • Rahama Wright – Founder and Executive Director, Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty

“The work of this Council will continue to improve Africa’s current high-risk perception and the associated risk premium, both of which are key considerations for U.S companies and institutions investing in Africa. President Obama has led a significant effort in decreasing such risk perception, starting with his Africa trip in 2013; the ensuing trips by Commerce Secretary Pritzker and Treasury Secretary Lew; the highly successful 2014 U.S.-Africa Business Forum; and now the establishment of the PAC-DBIA,” said Mr. Adeosun.

Please visit www.trade.gov/pac-dbia for more information on the President’s Advisory Council.

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About Kuramo Capital Management: Kuramo Capital Management is an independent investment manager that partners with U.S. Endowments and Foundations and Institutional Investors to capture the tremendous sub-Saharan Africa growth opportunity. Kuramo Capital Management has on-the-ground investment presence in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya, with its head office in New York. Please visit www.kuramocapital.com for more information on our company, our philosophy, and selected research and white papers.