The role of development finance institutions in addressing food security in fragile economies

The role of development finance institutions in addressing food security in fragile economies

Organized by the Private Sector Development Research Network

Hosted by ODI, the global affairs think tank

Moderated by Prof. Victor Murinde, Incoming Executive Director, The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

Friday, 19 April 2024, from 9-10am EST / 2-3pm BST

Watch/Listen to the playback recording here


Food insecurity remains a critical challenge in fragile and conflict-affected states due to economic and political instability. While private sector involvement is key to addressing this issue, development finance institutions (DFIs) currently invest minimal amounts in the agriculture sectors of fragile contexts.

Organized by the Private Sector Development Research Network and hosted by ODI, this seminar will explore the urgent challenges of food security and economic development in fragile contexts, focusing on private sector solutions. It will examine how DFIs can address food insecurity in the “10+1” countries — Afghanistan, CAR, DRC, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Nigeria — identified by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as at risk of food crises.

Speakers will discuss potential strategies to enhance food security through productivity improvements and direct investments in the food supply chain. They will also discuss the role of DFIs and private-sector solutions in overcoming economic challenges and improving food security in vulnerable countries.

The seminar aims to foster discussions on increasing DFI engagement in vulnerable economies to improve food security outcomes.

The research report can also be found here.


Professor Dirk Willem te Velde

Director, International Economic Development Group, Principal Research Fellow, ODI

Dr. te Velde is a Principal Research Fellow and Director at ODI’s International Economic Development Group. He oversees key programs on investment and trade in Africa and economic transformation. With a prolific career, Dr. te Velde has authored 20 books, 30 peer-reviewed articles, and 40 book chapters on investment, trade, and economic development.

Dr. te Velde’s expertise is recognised globally through contributions to leading media outlets like the BBC and the Economist. He has advised governments, parliaments, and international organisations worldwide including both Houses of the UK Parliament, donor agencies such as FCDO, European Commission, UN and the World Bank, and government ministers and heads of state in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nepal.

Dr. te Velde holds a PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London. He is currently a Professor of Practice at SOAS University of London, where he has made significant contributions to development economics and policy.

Additionally, Dr. te Velde serves as Director of the Secretariat of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade out of Poverty. He is also a member of the UK DIT Strategic Trade Advisory Group and an alternate on the UK NCP Steering Board for OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.

For more details about Dr. te Velde’s work visit:

H.E. Salah Ahmed Jama

Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia

On August 2, 2022, Salah Ahmed Jama was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, following a distinguished career in various government positions, including as Minister of Labour and Minister of Constitutional Affairs. Born in 1980 in Erigavo, Sanaag, he pursued his education abroad, earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science and Developmental Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

During his time at Carleton University, he contributed as a teacher and research assistant within the Political Science and African Studies departments. His research focused on peace, state-building, and the challenges faced by post-conflict societies. Salah has authored several publications on these topics, including a co-authored article in the Horn of Africa Journal in 2012 titled “Understanding the Drivers and Deficiencies of Afro-optimism: a Development Perspective,” which examines democratisation and state-building in fragile states.

Vivianne Infante

Coverage Director, Africa, British International Investment

Vivianne has performed the role of Country Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo and thereafter in Ethiopia, since 2015.  She is a member of British International Investment’s Africa Team and her coverage responsibilities include investment deal origination, portfolio management support, engagement with the British and Ethiopian governments and all realms arising from representing British International Investment in the Horn of Africa.

Prior to joining British International Investment, Vivianne worked as counsel at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), leading the workstreams pertaining to the first Nigerian federal PPP infrastructure project, including the first approval of the Equator-principles driven environmental and social impact assessment. She also worked on developing investment policies and onboarding of investment funds and was responsible for NSIA’s application to the international forum of sovereign wealth funds.

Vivianne is a qualified English solicitor, having worked at several international law firms, specialising in the areas of project financing and infrastructure development in Africa, Latin America and East Asia.  She’s also worked in international advisory firms, where she supported USAID-sponsored programmes.

Vivianne holds a Diploma in law from the UK and holds a BA from Trinity University in Washington DC.

For more details about Vivianne’s work:



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