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BCOM Alumna and KIVA Loan Beneficiary bags the Africa Project Finance Program Scholarship

Mary Boyani is a Class of 2019 Bachelors of Commerce Finance Option graduate. Her four-year academic journey at Strathmore University saw her experience astounding performances. A KIVA Loan awardee, Boyani certainly did not disappoint, graduating with a First Class honors and getting absorbed into the job market right away. Her fourth year research project was recently featured on The Accountant November-December 2020 Issue (ICPAK).

High flying alumna

This high flying alumna continues to shine and was recently awarded, with 10 others, the Africa Project Finance Program scholarship – a three months extensive training that aims to equip young university graduates with practical knowledge and skills in project finance and public-private partnerships (PPP).

The programme is being offered by Lean Africa Consultants Limited, Kenya – a project finance advisory firm that helps clients to efficiently structure their projects so as to ensure that they are bankable and attractive to sustainable financing. The firm is the organizer of the annual East Africa Infrastructure Project Finance Conference which brings together stakeholders in the infrastructure sector to discuss how best Africa can structure projects so as to attract more investment into the continent.

The Africa Project Finance Program comprises 60 hours of theoretical sessions, 6 expert talks by infrastructure industry leaders from across the globe and 3 site visits of active infrastructure sites. According to the CEO, Mr. Johnson Kilangi, an alumnus of Strathmore University, this blend will give the candidates a holistic understanding enabling them to handle the complexities and challenges of structuring, planning and managing infrastructure projects in Africa and across the globe.

Investments in Africa

Mr. Kilangi notes that Africa is not attracting sufficient investment in infrastructure compared to other emerging markets in the world due to the lack of capacity to efficiently structure and package infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, the investment in capacity building by African governments and institutions is not commensurate with the ambitious project pipelines lined up by most of the countries.

Boyani has expressed confidence in knowledge acquired from the programme this far and says she is excited by what the future holds.

“Through the interactive sessions that we have already had in the first week of the programme, I am quickly appreciating the mechanics of projects and project financing. Working in the pension industry, it is daunting that the pension funds are key in unlocking financing necessary to accelerate infrastructure development in Africa. I am confident that through the skills that I will acquire in the programme, I will be able to influence the investment decisions made by the pension industry especially towards long term infrastructure investment.

Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world; this will continue in the foreseeable future, but you will agree with me the continent has not been able to achieve its full potential due to the inability to structure and package projects efficiently. I therefore intend to use the skills acquired from this Program to Positively influence Infrastructure policy decisions in Africa and to help different governments and organizations with efficient project structuring, negotiating for best project financing partners and identifying the best sustainable projects to venture.

I am confident that through efficient infrastructure project structuring, planning and management, we can optimize and ring-fence the returns of infrastructure projects. If well matched, the returns of long-term infrastructure projects can conveniently attend to the long-term liabilities of the pension industry. A good balance between the two will enable industry to release sustainable financing for the infrastructure industry.”