How African Municipalities Are Preparing to Become Mega Cities – Meet the panelists

On August 5th at 16:00 BST, as part of the Homestrings Investor Series Webinars, Homestrings will be hosting a webinar on “How African Municipalities are Preparing to Become Mega Cities”.

In this exciting Webinar Series, we bring you a distinguished panel to discuss how Africa’s booming cities are looking to take their urbanization into their own hands and fund their development by issuing municipal bonds.

The socio-economic development strategy from bottom-up is the solution for African countries. This approach will mean that African countries must focus on the reinforcement of the economic, social and political capacities of local government through an efficient and effective decentralization policy. For the past 50 years most African countries have adopted the top-down strategy through a centralized government concentrating all development decisions at the national level. The result is that most of them are still underdeveloped. This webinar showcases how the rating process will facilitate the municipal bond market and allow local governments to establish their credit quality in order to access alternative sources of revenues through this bond market for their sustainable development. The panel will further discuss the positive impact brought to certain local governments with regard to accessing financial and technical resources.

To attend and register for the webinar, please find out more information here. In anticipation for the webinar, we’d like to introduce you to the panelists that will be present for the webinar from USAID, Bloomsfield and Homestrings.

Register for the webinar here.

Stephen Matzie, Investment Officer – USAID

Stephen Matzie is an Investment Officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) credit guarantee program, which supports priority development projects in emerging markets.  Stephen works with financial intermediaries to promote lending to new sectors important to those countries’ economic development, including environmental infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture, etc. With experience in public and project finance, Stephen helped structure the first non-sovereign back municipal bond in West Africa, and the first sub-national diaspora bond.

Prior to his current assignment at USAID, Stephen worked with TCG International in India specializing on infrastructure finance and in the U.S. on urban revitalization projects, including affordable housing, economic development, and community infrastructure.  Project engagement begins with early concept design and continues through financial closure, with each project worth approximately $100 million.

In addition, Stephen has experience in wealth management with Lincoln Financial and corporate law as a paralegal at Skadden Arps.  He received a BA from Colgate University, MA from Oxford University in Development Studies, and MSc in finance from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

 Stanislas Zeze, President Director General – Bloomfield Investment Corporation

Stanislas is the CEO & Chairman of Bloomfield Investment Corporation, a pan African credit rating agency based in Cote d’Ivoire with a representative office in Cameroon. After studying business law in France, he went to the Institute of Political Sciences and Economics at Eastern Michigan where he obtained a degree in Economics. He was then admited to the prestigious School of Administration and Management of the University of Michigan where he graduated with a Masters of Public Administration.

During his professional career, Stanislas Zeze occupied successively the positions of Director of Credit Risk at National Bank of Detroit, Senior Control and Operations Risk Analyst at the World Bank in Washington. He then went back to Africa and joined the African Development Bank as a Senior Country Risk Officer, and become the Regional Credit Director at Shell Oil Africa for west and central africa region in 2004. In 2007, he created Bloomfield Investment Corporation and became the CEO & Chairman in 2008. Bloomfield Investment Corporation, is one of the four rating agencies of Africa. Stanislas Zeze is a member of the American Public Administration Association and member of Pi Sigma Alpha (a political sciences honor society).

James Doree, Director  – Lion’s Head Global Partners

James Doree is a Director at Lion’s Head Global Partners, an investment and financial advisory firm working across Africa and emerging markets.  His clients include development finance institutions, governments, institutional investors and companies seeking to deploy capital and/ or originate opportunities in energy, infrastructure, financial services and other high impact sectors.

As part of Lion’s Head’s work in African capital markets, James has responsibility for managing the African Local Currency Bond Fund.  Through this, and other initiatives, he originates and executes transactions across the Continent.

James was previously a Senior Consultant at Cambridge Economic Policy Associates and, prior to that, worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Nairobi.  He has a Masters in Development Economics and a first class MA in History and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford.

Eric Guichard, Founder and Chief Executive Officer – Homestrings

Eric was born in Brooklyn, NY of a Guinean father (West Africa) and an American mother. He spent 20 years growing up in poor rural Guinea, going to primary and secondary school in Fria and then Conakry, the capital.

Eric deeply understands that burning desire to make a difference, when you are so far away from loved-ones, and the limitations of currently available investment options that really make an impact and are profitable. That understanding has led to Homestrings – a contraction of Homesick and Heartstrings.

Eric is also currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GRAVITAS Capital Advisors, Inc. an asset management firm he founded in 1996 ( GRAVITAS Capital advises global and sovereign institutional assets. He runs the Sovereign Solutions Practice which includes innovative macro solutions such as the Sovereign Debt Redemption Fund Ltd and the Pension Support Fund Ltd. Eric also manages GRAVITAS’s Tactical Allocation Fund, LLC. He received a 2009 Risk Innovator Award for Finance from Risk & Insurance Magazine.

Prior to GRAVITAS Capital, Eric was portfolio manager at the World Bank (1990-1996) where he also served as technical adviser to sovereign and multilateral institutions worldwide.

Eric is a graduate of the University of Dakar (Cheikh Anta Diop), in Senegal; of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh; and of the Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA (World Bank Scholar and Harvard Fellowship award).

Moderated  by: Rubelyn Alcantara, Chief Marketing Officer, Homestrings

Ruby.jpgMs. Alcantara is the Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Strategic Partnerships & Geographic Expansion for Homestrings.
A Canadian native, Rubelyn’s background stems in journalism, marketing & sales strategy. Rubelyn most recently served as the managing director of Push Observer, a media technology start-up in Tanzania, making it the leading business and market intelligence source in East Africa.
She brings her experience in uncovering global opportunities: over the past nine years, she’s lived in 14 different countries and traveled to 40+, analyzing economies and producing country campaigns for executives and governments in Africa, Asia and Europe. These reports were distributed in various publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, FORTUNE and former The International Herald Tribune now know as the New York Times International.

She holds a Masters in Business Administration at IE Business School (IE), a BA in Communications and Political Science from Simon Fraser University (Canada) and a Diploma in Broadcast Performing Arts from Columbia Academy (Canada).

For more information or webinar registration, please click here.

Homestrings Staff

Homestrings Staff

Homestrings staff provide fresh content on different topics of interest covering frontier and emerging markets such as infrastructure, oil and mining, real estate, agriculture, mobile money, remittances etc. The information is curated from major news portals focused on Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe as well as major international news outlets such as Bloomberg or Reuters.

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