Ayo Fashina is an engineer turned finance professional with project and deal experience in the US, Europe and Africa. He is currently the Group CFO at Kobo360, Africa’s leading tech-enabled logistics platform, enabling local and cross border transportation in 7 African countries. He is leading Kobo’s collaboration with Afreximbank on the development of a Global Logistics Operating System (GLOS), a digital infrastructure to be offered as a service (SaaS) solution for logistics and supply chain, to facilitate faster payments, liquidity, asset tracking, communication, collaboration thereby improving efficiency in the African trade value chain.
Prior to Kobo360, he was a Senior Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC, private sector arm of the World Bank Group) where he led deal teams in providing debt, equity, trade finance and guarantees to Banks and other financial institutions in Africa. Before joining the IFC, he was an Executive Director in charge of the Investment Banking Division of Chapel Hill Denham, where he led the advisory team to assist corporates, sub-nationals and supranational in the raising debt, equity and Financial Advisory/M&A transactions. Ayo also worked at Deutsche Bank AG London in the Industrials Corporate Finance with the transport, infrastructure and support services team as an investment banker and at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn Michigan as a Product Engineering Designer and an internal operations consultant.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, two Engineering master’s degrees and an MBA with concentration in Finance and Global Business from the New York University Stern School of Business. He is also a full member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments UK (MCSI), a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and a Six Sigma Black Belt.
The conversation on intra-Africa trade has been dominated by the recently implemented game-changing African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its potential to position the region as the fastest growing in the world. This discussion will broaden the conversation and unpack the AfCFTA for what it is – a legal instrument to enhance intra-Africa trade – and what we can realistically expect from the agreement, in the context of existing regional economic networks and other trade instruments already in effect. The discussion will seek to address questions such as how Africa can unlock potential by building more viable regional value chains, how countries can overcome infrastructural differences impeding trade, and how payment innovation must align to facilitate cross-border exchange. Underpinning these reforms is the critical role of financing to not only bridge the infrastructure and investment gaps, but also offset the revenues generated by existing trade barriers. Lastly, the role of the private sector cannot be understated. The discussion will highlight the dual role the private sector has to play, both as traders and agents of innovation.