Tariye Gbadegesin: Powering Africa’s Climate Infrastructure and Finance

In the fast-paced world of international finance and climate action, Tariye Gbadegesin is a goal-setter, a pacesetter and a force to reckon with. Leveraging over two decades of experience, she is propelling Africa into a greener and more sustainable future. From her pivotal role in establishing the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to her current leadership positions in climate-focused initiatives, Tariye is driving impactful change on both a regional and global scale.

Tariye’s journey began with a solid foundation in economics, earning her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, and later enhancing her skills with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Armed with knowledge and a passion for development, she became a key player in mobilizing capital for infrastructure projects across the African continent.

As a founding member of the AFC, Tariye led investments in critical sectors such as power, transport, industrials, and telecommunications. Her strategic vision and financial acumen facilitated the deployment of over US$800 million in industrial and telecommunications infrastructure over a remarkable four-year span. Tariye’s contributions extended beyond the boardroom, as she served as a non-executive Director on the Boards of Main One Cable Company and Cabeolica Wind IPP, marking her footprint in West Africa’s telecom and renewable energy landscapes.

Tariye’s global experience encompasses prestigious roles at the International Monetary Fund, the Boston Consulting Group, and Price Waterhouse Coopers. Proficient in French and Spanish, with a working knowledge of Portuguese, she has lived in diverse locations, including the United States, Kenya, Costa Rica, and Nigeria. This international exposure enriches her perspectives, enabling her to navigate the complexities of global finance and development seamlessly.

Tariye’s commitment to addressing climate change is evident in her role as Co-Chair of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI). Recognizing the untapped potential within Africa, she advocates for the continent’s leadership in deploying finance for a greener future. Her belief in Africa’s ability to supply high-quality carbon credits is not just rhetoric; it aligns with proactive efforts by countries like Ghana, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to build and scale their domestic carbon markets.

In her latest appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), effective March 2024, Tariye assumes a pivotal role in one of the world’s largest multilateral climate funds. With over $11 billion pledged, CIF focuses on pioneering clean energy transitions, nature-based solutions, and resilience across more than 70 developing countries.

Tariye’s vision is clear: she aims to accelerate collective climate action, recognizing that developing countries are at the forefront of the climate crisis. Her leadership positions in infrastructure and climate finance, including her tenure as CEO of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investments, showcase her ability to structure and deliver large-scale investments in energy, infrastructure, and industry.

The significance of Tariye’s appointment lies not only in her extensive experience but also in her strategic approach to climate finance. As a member of various climate and economic development organizations, including the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, she brings a wealth of knowledge and connections to the table.