TradeMark Africa Announces New Chief Executive Officer

Senior diplomat and development professional, former United Kingdom High Commissioner, adviser at World Bank and IMF boards to lead one of the world’s largest Aid for Trade institutions

Nairobi, August 31, 2022: Mr. David Beer has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for TradeMark Africa (TMA), and succeeds Mr. Frank Matsaert, TMA’s founding CEO. He will assume the position from 1st September 2022 and will be based in Nairobi, TMA’s headquarters.

David Beer has recently completed his tour as High Commissioner for the United Kingdom (UK) in Malawi.

The TMA Board conducted a rigorous selection process to select a CEO with strong experience of the nexus of aid for trade, Governments and diplomacy, multilaterals, and development, positioning him to provide continuity of purpose.  Mr. Beer has over 20 years’ senior international experience within these sectors. He previously represented the UK, advising respective UK Executive Directors to the Boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on areas such as institutional risk management, adaptive programming and disaster risk financing, alongside macro-economic management and development programming. This builds on many years of leading development efforts for the British Government and other organisations across Africa, including Uganda, Sudan, Burundi, and Ghana.

Mr. Beer joins TMA at a time when the organisation is expanding to the rest of Africa and scaling up support for the implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. TMA has innovated its programming to not only reduce trade barriers through improved transportation and logistics systems, digitalisation of key trade processes, enhanced standards and SPS compliance and targeted interventions supporting women, youth in Small and Medium Enterprises in critical sectors; but also developing a US$220 million Green Corridors programme that will ensure climate resilient infrastructure and transport models are adopted. Additionally, TMA has secured funding for start-up its new commercial arm – Trade Catalyst Africa – that will catalyse commercial capital into the organisation’s infrastructure and digital workstreams.

As founding CEO of TMA, Mr. Frank Matsaert has led the institution for more than a decade through periods of momentous growth, strong delivery, and external challenges. The most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic which inflicted a global recession and in response TMA created its award-winning Safe Trade programme that helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Eastern, Southern and Horn of Africa trade. Mr. Matsaert spearheaded expansion beyond East Africa to now include the Horn, Southern and West Africa, and raising TMA funding from an initial US$42 million to US$1.2 billion by April this year. Mr. Matsaert has worked tirelessly to develop TMA’s strategy and implementation model to achieve large scale impact; champion staff welfare, inclusion, and diversity; and promote TMA beyond its traditional donors to now include Foundations. Consequently, David will be inheriting an organisation with an excellent record for achieving results, with a professional and dedicated management team which displays all the values on which TMA prides itself.

TMA Board Chair Ambassador Erastus Mwencha said, “David’s extensive government and trade development skills should help TMA strengthen its programming, develop strategic alliances, and roll out fit for purpose products that respond to market needs at macro and micro level so Africa can maximise its trade potential. We believe his strong leadership experience will help focus TMA during these turbulent economic times and stabilise its funding base.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Trade Catalyst Africa.