Bespoke research and strategic advice for sub-Saharan markets
Bespoke research and strategic advice for sub-Saharan markets
We are a team of committed Africa specialists with decades of combined experience advising the most influential companies and organisations on the continent. Our core team have significant on-the-ground experience living and working in Africa.
With a shared enthusiasm for generating positive impact, our core team members have diverse professional backgrounds and complementary skillsets developed in business, development, academia, consultancy and journalism.
Through our experiences, individually and together, we have developed specialist knowledge in a number of high-impact sectors, including energy, financial services, agriculture, health, human rights and peace building.
Chairman, Advisory Board
Advisory Board Member
For his last 12 years at EY, Baïdy held senior leadership positions including Advisory Services Leader for French Speaking Sub Saharan Africa (FSSA), Business Development Leader for FSSA, and member of the Africa Advisory Executive Committee for the Africa Region. Since leaving EY in 2019, Baïdy has created an investment vehicle taking minority influential stakes in SMEs, while participating in Senegalese investment clubs and networks as a board member to support local private sector development. He has also served on the board of the Economic Policies Study Centre (CEPOD) of Senegal’s Ministry of Economy since 2003 as a private sector representative. Baïdy holds a Master’s degree in Management and Finance from the Paris Business School (ISC) and an Executive Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences-Po).
Early in his career, Ashley worked in the office of the director of strategy at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nairobi. He holds a BA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MA in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
A dual Finnish-British national, Anna started her career as a reporter at the Finnish News Agency (STT) and later led advocacy for investors in Africa towards multilateral bodies at the Brussels-based Private Investors for Africa. Anna’s motivation lies in supporting private sector-led development in the region. Anna has degrees in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Helsinki, respectively. She speaks French, Spanish, Finnish, and Portuguese.
Having begun her career at the International Herald Tribune in Paris, Kitty speaks French and has worked throughout French speaking Africa, particularly in Gabon, the Republic of Congo and the DRC. Kitty ran the Africa desk at Aegis Advisory before heading their specialist investigations division. She has a Master’s in African politics and history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. In 2009 she founded the charity ‘A Partner In Education’ which works to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Rwanda.
Chris has two decades of Africa-focused professional experience. Prior to joining Sofala he spent eight years as the head of political risk at Africa-focused Tullow Oil where he was closely involved in project delivery, advising the Board and senior leaders on the political economy of proposed project activities and social investments, as well as coordinating stakeholder engagement strategy at key moments of transition in the business.
Prior to this Chris worked as a political risk analyst and consultant, including four years at the head of Control Risks’ Africa desk. As a consultant, Chris has advised project managers, technical leads and executives from a wide variety of companies in diverse sectors and settings across the continent. Chris has an MA in African Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in History from the University of Oxford. Chris is also a qualified community mediator.
Since joining Sofala, Rico has led projects to support market entry and growth for multinationals in the digital health, e-commerce, entertainment, and FMCG sectors, among others. He has also supported many of our philanthropic and not-for-profit clients including leading the development of country strategies, supporting investment pipeline development, and standing up a market intelligence monitoring and reporting service spanning seven countries.
Based in our London office, Rico leads Sofala’s growing market entry and investment advisory practice, drawing on a proven ability to develop custom analytics and tools that enable clients to make informed decisions in data-scarce contexts. He holds a BA in International Studies and a Master’s degree in Policy from the Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington.
East Africa Director
Joshua’s early career included managing a Gates Foundation-funded WASH project in eSwatini with Sister Cities International, and supporting Eastern Congo Initiative’s US-facing advocacy campaigns to promote security sector reform in the DRC. He holds a BA in Political Science from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington. He is a Fulbright public policy fellow and during his fellowship served as a special assistant on policy and budget in the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi.
Ditte Krogh Olesen
Since joining Sofala, Ditte has worked with a number of development clients, and has led retained projects focusing on policy analysis and intelligence monitoring. She has advised clients within the agriculture, education, gender and health sectors, and worked on political economy analyses and advisory projects across East Africa. Ditte holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Defence, Development and Diplomacy from the University of Durham.
Duncan began his career in Kenya with a Nairobi-based risk consultancy, producing regular country risk reports on South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Kenya, as well as leading the company’s forecasting and scenario planning capabilities. Duncan has also consulted for several Africa-focused political risk and intelligence companies as an analyst and a researcher. Duncan holds an MA in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London’s Department of War Studies and a BA in History from the University of Bristol.
Before joining Sofala, Wadeisor was a researcher at International Crisis Group in Nairobi, Kenya, where her research was focused on the conflicts Sudan and South Sudan. She has conducted extensive research on Africa-China relations and, in 2020, she published a chapter on student movements and autocracies in Africa in an edited volume titled Gender, Protests and Political Change in Africa. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, she has long been interested in how private sector-led development can generate social impact and transformation in Africa. She holds MA in Security, Leadership & Society as a fellow at the African Leadership Centre, King’s College London, as well as an MA in China Studies, from the Yenching Academy at Peking University in Beijing, China.
Prior to joining Sofala, Victoire worked as an analyst within Risk Advisory Group's Africa practice. There, she conducted enhanced due diligence investigations for asset management firms and private clients, enabling them to assess and manage integrity and regulatory risks across African jurisdictions. She has extensive experience leading projects in the renewable energy, infrastructure and logistics sectors. Victoire began her career with a financial services networking platform, specialising in investment research projects in emerging markets. Victoire holds a MSc in African Politics and a BA in Politics and International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Victoire is fluent in French and Spanish.
Prior to joining Sofala, Florence worked for Control Risks’ Compliance, Forensics and Intelligence team where she supported clients with proactive and reactive risk management solutions. There, Florence played a lead role in forensic investigations, risk management advisory and due diligence assignments, working with clients across a broad range of sectors, from finance and natural resources to agriculture and international development. Florence is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and, prior to joining Control Risks, worked in the actuarial and banking sectors. She holds an MBA specialising in Global Value Chains from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China, and a BSc in Actuarial Science from Strathmore University in Nairobi. Florence is fluent in Kiswahili and is proficient in French and Mandarin.
Wambui has a legal background and started her career at a boutique commercial law firm in Nairobi, before joining the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). There, she assisted in the prosecution of major anti-corruption cases and worked on the ODPP’s Law Reform Committee. She has previously worked with the World Youth Alliance, providing training on human dignity and human rights across Africa and advocating for the eradication of poverty and preventable disease with the ONE Campaign in East Africa. She holds an LLB in Law from the University of Nairobi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. She is also an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Leyla is a recent graduate of King’s College London and holds an MA in International Political Economy. During her academic career, Leyla has conducted various research projects on political economy dynamics specific to the Great Lakes region and East Africa, notably on renewable energy transition in DRC. She also holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from Queen Mary University of London, during which she specialised in the political economy of development, with her thesis focusing on Kenya’s post-independence development dynamics.
A creative at heart, Lex graduated with a first class degree from the British Institute of Modern Music in 2021. With a keen eye for organisation, Lex works with us part time as our office manager while pursuing various creative projects in her spare time.
Our in-country teams
We have over 100 in-country team members across the region, who provide advice, insights and bespoke research. This way of working allows us to combine deep analytical and advisory expertise with unique and bespoke local-level insights to provide the best-in-class advice and intelligence to inform clients’ decision-making.
Countries with 4+ team members:
Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal
Countries with 2-3 team members:
Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC, Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Egypt, Madagascar
Countries with 1 team member:
Burundi, Malawi, Central African Republic, Namibia, Botswana, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Togo, Benin, Sudan, South Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritius, Libya, Niger, Chad, Somalia, Lesotho, eSwatini, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia
Yvonne has completed a PhD in climate change and adaptation at the University of Nairobi, Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation. Her research focused on the connection between national development and climate change adaptation, with a specific interest in multiple stakeholder engagement as a tool for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into national infrastructural development. Yvonne has a Masters degree in environmental education from New York University and a LLB in Law from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Nana Osei Mainoo
Work with Sofala
We’re focused on building a team of people who inspire us
We’re looking for bright, curious people with strong analytical and problem-solving skills who thrive in fast-paced, dynamic environments and have a passion for driving positive impact on the African continent. We are committed to building a company which is – simply put – a nice place to work. Our working culture is relatively informal and flexible. We believe that for teamwork to thrive we need to treat each other with respect, politeness and kindness.
Join our African consulting network
What we do would not be possible without our network of dedicated, in-country research partners, subject-matter experts and consultants. At Sofala Partners, we offer a wide range of consulting assignments with prestigious clients working on some of the most interesting and consequential projects in Africa. If you are interested in exploring consulting opportunities with us, please direct enquiries to email@example.com. Please note that we cannot guarantee a response in all cases.
Sofala Perspectives Newsletter
A platform for friends of Sofala covering our latest news and insights on African markets.