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Frank Aswani, CEO of the Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), on creating an impact ecosystem in Africa

The CEO of the Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), Frank Aswani, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss creating an impact ecosystem in Africa and to explore the continuum of impact capital, from traditional philanthropy to private sector capital.


A key challenge AVPA is focused on: How to solve Africa’s long-term sustainable growth financing challenge.


We explore the evolving role of philanthropy, as it moves beyond traditional grant-making and embraces a catalytic investing mindset where philanthropic assets are viewed as risk-capital. We also consider the role of philanthropists, which is key to unlocking more private capital and attracting it into the social impact space.


Whether you’re a philanthropist or engaged with corporate foundations, private equity, venture capital, government or non-profits, this episode will enlighten and enthuse you.

About Frank Aswani

Dr Frank Aswani is the CEO of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), a network of social investors collaborating to increase the flow of capital (grants, debt, or equity & non-financial capital) into social investments in Africa to address the continent’s SDG financing gap. He is a Kenyan national residing in Johannesburg and holds a Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of Nairobi and an MBA from GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Studies), University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Frank has extensive experience across both the private and social sectors. He spent 14 years in healthcare with Eli Lilly working in Kenya, England, Switzerland and South Africa. At Eli Lilly, Frank served as the Sales Director for South Africa and the Regional Director for Sub-Sahara Africa managing over 25 countries in Anglophone and Lusophone Sub-Sahara Africa. Frank was the VP and Director of Strategic Relations at the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg for six years, leading ALA's corporate partnerships, business development and fundraising activities. His other stints include his time at Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) as the Africa Regional Director and a consultancy in innovation.

In addition to his role at AVPA, Frank serves as visiting faculty at the Oxford Saïd Business School Social Finance program and sits on the investment committee of the MasterCard Foundation Africa Growth Fund. He is also the founder and host of the Afropact Podcast series which showcases African Impact stories, spotlighting African solutions to African challenges. Frank is a passionate pan-African and perennial Afro-optimist who believes that Africans should be at the forefront of solving their problems.


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