Investing in the East

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Investing in the East

Investing in the East

About the speakers
  • Berhane Demissie
    Berhane Demissie
    Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Cepheus Growth Capital Partners
    Ms. Berhane Demissie, is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Cepheus Growth Capital Partners, a private equity firm primarily focused on investments in Ethiopia across all sectors. Ms. Demissie has over 10 years of Private Equity experience in Ethiopia and, prior to this, served as a Senior Consultant to Government’s public financial institutions reform program. She also worked as corporate finance and risk management professional in the UK. Ms. Demissie holds BSc (hon.) from Greenwich University, and Higher Diploma (DIC) and an MBA from Imperial College in London.
  • David Owino
    David Owino
    Founder & Managing Partner at Ascent
    David Owino is a Managing Partner with Ascent Capital Advisors, the exclusive adviser of Ascent Rift Valley Fund I & II (ARVF I & II) with combined commitments in excess of US$ 200 million. ARVF I & II are Mauritius registered private equity funds focusing on investing in small and medium size businesses (SMEs) in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda. Prior to founding Ascent, David worked with Centum for 13 years rising to become the Executive Director in charge of the private equity business division managing over US$180 million in assets. A seasoned investment professional and governance expert with over 20 years’ experience David is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya (CPA) and a Certified Public Secretary of Kenya (CPS). He is a member of the Institute of Directors-Kenya Chapter. Additionally, David is an independent director of Continental Reinsurance (Kenya), where he chairs the Investment Committee, Strathmore University, where he chairs the Finance Committee, Heri Limited, where he chairs the Investment Committee, and Funguo Investments Limited. He is also the Chairman of the East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) a body set-up to promote the aims of the private equity investment eco-system in East Africa and the Chairman of Amalgamated Chama Limited (ACL), the umbrella investment group for investment clubs in Kenya. Besides work David enjoys spending time with his young family who he says are his biggest supporters and are the key cornerstone of his professional career. He also participates in activities aimed at supporting families through a program for family development with the objective of fostering strong families for a better society, where he has been a moderator for more than 5 years. He is a proud alumnus of Strathmore University, United States International University – Africa (USIU-A) and Lenana School.
  • Muthoni Wachira
    Muthoni Wachira
    General Partner and Investment Director, Katapult Africa Food and Climate Fund at Katapult Africa
    Muthoni is a thought-leader and change-maker recently recognised as one of 12 venture capitalists to know in Africa. She lives at the intersection of innovation, impact, and investment. Since leaving investment banking in London in 2009, she has built a career in Africa with an aim to lead, create and inspire entrepreneurship across the continent. Believing that technology innovation can leapfrog growth for Africa, she has undertaken roles with impactful organizations such as Engineers Without Borders, Canada; managed scalable investments such as Safaricom Spark Fund; and helped spur innovation within technology startups such as JUMO. More recently, Muthoni joined Katapult Group as the General Partner and Investment Director for their dedicated Africa Food and Climate Fund. Muthoni leads a team of investors and former operators based in Kenya, Rwanda and Norway in making Seed and Series A investments across Africa. She currently manages a portfolio of 16 startups and is leading the charge in raising a $50M Pan-African fund, believing that through mentorship and strategic investments, they can unlock the continent's potential, build resilience to climate shocks and transform lives. Muthoni is an Actuarial Science graduate; CFA Charterholder; a leading voice in venture investing as featured in Disrupt Africa, VentureBurn, Impact Alpha, Briter Bridges and Forbes; and a former visiting lecturer on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Center for Social Innovation. She engages actively in the African tech ecosystem and holds Investment Committee roles in venture funds and Board Advisory roles in startups and impact-driven organizations. Her career vision continues to be creating a self-sustaining cycle of innovation that propels Africa to the forefront of global technology, addressing socio-economic challenges and fostering inclusive development.

Key takeaways