South Africa

Hubert Danso 

  • CEO and Vice Chair, Africa Investor (Financial Services, Media)
Born London, U.K., 1970. LLB Business Law, London Guildhall (1991); LLM Int. Commercial Law, University of Sussex (1996).
“[O]nly 12–15 percent of all of our trade … is actually intra-African. So there’s a huge opportunity there, and a need, to build that out.””

Video Clips

Danso describes the differences in investment climate in various regions of Africa, noting that that the governments share a greater willingness to partner with business.

Danso explains the appeal of Chinese investment to various African governments and businesses, and his own company's involvement in the Chinese investment scene.

Danso describes the relationship between the diaspora and the home continent and the many business opportunities available in Africa to diaspora talent in various industries, including IT, consumer goods, and energy.

 Full-length video (accessible to holders of a valid Harvard ID)

Transcript

Hubert Danso, CEO of Africa Investor (Ai) Group, discusses the challenges of heading an investment holding company that advises institutional investors, governments, and financial institutions on infrastructure investments in Africa. He relates his growing awareness of the critical need to attract international investment to Africa as stemming from his early experience working at the International Chamber of Commerce. He recounts his strategies for encouraging investment in different African countries, his relations with potentially powerful Chinese investors, and the essential role that private-sector investment has played in developing Africa’s infrastructure. He further discusses his efforts to build offices in Ghana and Nigeria, as well as in South Africa, in order to secure deep knowledge of these regional markets.

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Resources

  • Foreign Direct Investment and South Africa (A) [HBS case]
  • Foreign Direct Investment and South Africa (B) [HBS supplement]
  • Opening and Welcome Remarks by Hubert Danso, African Investor Summit, 2013
  • "Ai to Boost African Pension, Sovereign Wealth Fund by $1 trn," Vanguard-Nigeria, September 29, 2014
  • "The Hot New Africa Investment Trend: Pension Funds," Institutional Investor Magazine, June 23, 2014
  • "Ai CEO Infrastructure Investment Summit Enlists African Pension and Sovereign Wealth Funds to Invest in African infrastructure," All Africa, May 19, 2014
  • "'Why Africa's Pension Funds Must Be Unlocked,'" All Africa, May 5, 2014
  • “150 Foreign Investors Pledge to Inject Capital Into Nation,” All Africa, February 19, 2010
  • Africa Investor website
  • Video file of this interview available at Baker Library Historical Collections, histcollref@hbs.edu. Harvard ID holders can access the full-length video above.

  • Interview citation: "Interview with Hubert Danso, interviewed by Emmanuel Akyeamgpong, April 17, 2015, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/emerging-markets/."