The Tony Blair Institute has hired Frank Matsaert to fill a new role as director of trade and infrastructure for Africa.
Matsaert was the founder and chief executive officer of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) from October 2010 when it was established, until August 2022, growing it from a $60m programme to the largest and most successful trade facilitation institution in Africa, with a cumulative budget of $1.3 billion across 15 countries.
He received an MBE award from the then queen of England, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for his services to trade and economic development in Eastern Africa in June 2022.
In his new role, Matsaert will work closely with Guy Baron, TBI’s investment director, to grow trade and investment by scaling-up trade facilitation and creating a pipeline of viable trade investments across Africa. He will take up the role on December 1, 2022, and will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Reacting to the development, Matsaert said: “I am delighted to be joining the institute as the new Trade and Infrastructure director. Our aim is clear: to grow investment and trade across Africa by investing in trade systems with partner governments, regional bodies and the private sector.
“Our priorities will be to build on the Institute’s strong reputation for delivery at the heart of government on trade, and to attract investment in key trade infrastructure and private sector projects across the continent.”
In his comments, the managing director of Africa advisory at the Tony Blair Institute, Rishon Chimboza, said: “Frank joins TBI at a critical time for governments across Africa, as they seek to attract investment and grow trade opportunities. He brings unrivalled experience in trade facilitation and private sector development to our work supporting governments across the continent.”