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USAID's Use of Blended Finance to Grow Investment in Developing and Frontier Markets

Event Date: 
Mar 26, 2020
9:00 am to 10:30 am EDT
Online Event


USAID uses blended finance to mobilize private capital and spur investment in developing and frontier markets. USAID INVEST hosted a webinar for participants to learn about what blended finance is and how USAID is pioneering its use to meet development goals and support private sector investment.

This webinar shared how USAID Power Africa is catalyzing market acceleration and investment facilitation in the off-grid energy sector in East Africa. USAID INVEST presented a deep dive on pipeline development and transaction facilitation that looks at tools like pay-for-results contracting and investment assessment scorecards as well as links between investment facilitation, outcomes, and impacts. Transaction advisors highlighted more about their roles on private sector engagement projects focused on raising capital to grow inclusive markets.

This webinar addressed the following topics and questions:

  • What is blended finance and why are development agencies using it?
  • What is the importance of and approach to market development in the off-grid energy sector?
  • How can development agencies utilize pay-for-results contracts for investment facilitation activities?
  • What is the role of transaction advisors in raising capital in developing markets?

Are you from a specialized investment organization interested in joining the Partner Network? If so please contact [email protected]


Headshot: Sashi Jayatileke

Sashi Jayatileke is the Team Lead of the Development Finance, Impact Investing, and Entrepreneurship team in USAID’S Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Hub.

In this role, she manages the team that provides technical and strategic advice on finance, including the PACE program, INVEST, Catalyze, and the blended finance learning agenda. Prior to this, she worked with USAID's Asia Bureau supporting economic growth priorities. Sashi brings 18 years of experience in the design, development, and implementation of projects focused on private sector engagement, impact investing, women's economic empowerment, and financial inclusion. Sashi has led partnership development, technical support and consulting in market systems, and financial inclusion for the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) as well as the Grameen Foundation and the World Bank. She holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from Vanderbilt University.

Headshot: María Hilda Rivera
María Hilda
USAID Power Africa

María Hilda Rivera is an Energy Advisor for Power Africa. She joined Power Africa in 2014 to launch its distributed energy initiative.

At Power Africa she covers country portfolios in East Africa, and leads efforts in financing for distributed energy. Throughout her career, Maria Hilda has worked in renewable and distributed energy with a focus on private sector development. Prior to joining Power Africa, María Hilda worked at The World Bank with the Africa Energy Unit, where her focus was on electrification and market based approaches for energy access, working as core team member of the Lighting Africa Program. Maria Hilda also worked at the firm Energy and Security Group as an Energy Engineer, and spent time at the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACORE), an umbrella trade association. She carried out her graduate studies both in Biological and Agricultural Engineering and in International Development- Agricultural Economics-at the University of California, Davis. Her undergraduate studies were in Bio-Resource Engineering at Rutgers University.

Headshot: Paul Ouma

Paul Ouma leads CrossBoundary’s East Africa investment advisory team and is based out of the Nairobi office.

Prior to joining CrossBoundary, Paul worked with a sub-Saharan Africa focused private equity firm in Mauritius. He has also worked for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) executing debt and equity transactions across Sub-Saharan Africa in the manufacturing and services sectors. Paul began his career in the Chicago office of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services where he advised senior leaders across various sectors on business and intangible asset valuations in relation to M&A, tax reorganizations, financial reporting and management planning activities. Paul holds a Bachelor in Finance with a minor in Accounting from DePaul University in Chicago.

Headshot: Reza Fazel

Reza Fazel joined Open Capital in 2015, and has developed core expertise in the off-grid energy sector.

He has led engagements with several off-grid energy businesses, investors, and development partners across Sub-Saharan Africa. Reza’s energy access experience encompasses support at strategic, capital raising, operational, and ecosystem levels, having acted as Country Manager for a pay-as-you-go solar home systems business in Rwanda, engaged deeply at a sectoral level in Uganda where he leads the Uganda Off-Grid Energy Market Accelerator (UOMA), and provided strategic and capital raise support to several off-grid operators across the region. Prior to joining Open Capital, Reza worked at Deloitte in their Strategy Consulting group based in London. From Mombasa, Kenya, Reza holds a degree in Economics from the University of Warwick.

Headshot: Robin Young

is a Strategic Investment Advisor with INVEST.

She has 25 years of experience as a technical advisor and team leader on investment and financial services projects and engagements in developing and frontier markets. In 2017, on behalf of DAI she led development of the INVEST project with USAID and specialized investment partners to create the platform for mobilizing investment for development impact. She serves as a Strategic Investment Advisor on INVEST, working with partners to mobilize private capital for health, clean energy, sustainable landscapes, agriculture, and small and growing businesses in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. As a DAI Senior Principal Development Specialist Robin engages directly in work to identify and develop innovative financing solutions for clients in developing and frontier markets. She recently prepared a Catalytic Funding Guide for maternal and neonatal health in Indonesia, conducted a banking and investment sectoral analysis in Rwanda, and developed a scoping study and facilitated a co-creation workshop for an innovative river basin conservation fund in Nepal. Robin has led advisory and research projects for the Inter-American Development Bank and Multi-Lateral Investment Fund, International Finance Corporation, U.K. Department for International Development, USAID, World Bank, and private sector financial institutions and investment funds. Based in Central America, she has worked in more than 25 countries. Robin has an M.B.A. from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University.

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