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Home » Amaka Opara, Founding Partner, Women’s Enterprise Acceleration Vehicle (WEAVE)

Amaka Opara, Founding Partner, Women’s Enterprise Acceleration Vehicle (WEAVE)

Amaka Opara is an experienced development finance professional. She has a track record in building entrepreneurial ecosystems, working with governments to implement business-enabling reforms, catalysing private investments and financing high-growth businesses. She has directly managed over $1.4 billion in financing projects and has worked with and advised high-growth SMEs, large multinationals, and governments.

Amaka is a global citizen and has worked and lived in London, New York, Washington DC, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, and Latin America. She is particularly passionate about women’s economic empowerment, advancing women in business and in narrowing the gender financing gap for female entrepreneurs.

Opara is passionate about moving the needle in policy in Africa. In 2012, she founded an NGO – afrimind – which curated over 120 thought pieces and over 40 interviews focusing on African solutions that unlock development on the continent.

She is a Fellow with the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance and was a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2015, she was selected by the WEF to participate at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Read also: Development partners seek measures for increase women economic empowerment

Amaka sits on the board of several companies and served as the World Bank representative on the board of the Development Bank of Nigeria. She holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, and an MA in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Opara participated in the Stanford University and 500 Startups Ventures Unlocked Programme. She is frequently interviewed to discuss her views on attracting foreign investment and ‘Doing Business in Africa.’

Amaka believes that the talent problem is a global one, and it is not just an African problem. According to her, countries around the world continue to suffer from an ageing population, and with the rise in tech companies, she believes that we will continue to see increased demand for tech talent. “Countries including Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Nigeria are all facing acute talent challenges.” She stated.

For Opara, Africa is going to be central to the solution of the talent wars. She says it is a matter of numbers and demographics. By 2030, 42 percent of the young population in the world will be in Africa.

“Countries are increasingly going to look to Africa to plug the gap and we’ve already seen the demand in services for companies like Andela, Decagon, Gebeya, and Semi-Colon, which train and/or place African tech talent globally.”

However, Opara believes this is a double-edged sword as we run the very serious and economically debilitating risk of a tech brain drain.

“I can’t count the number of programmers I know are fully working remotely with global clients, or who’ve relocated altogether,” Opara revealed.

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