British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, has announced the appointment of Chris Chijiutomi as Managing Director, Head of Africa. Moving on from his previous role at BII as MD and Head of Infrastructure Equity, Chijiutomi will now lead the DFI’s operations in Africa and work to further strengthen its longstanding presence across the continent.
Chijiutomi joined BII in 2017 as Investment Director in the Infrastructure Equity team before going on to head the business and was promoted in 2022 as an MD. He led some of BII’s landmark infrastructure investments, most notably overseeing BII’s joint venture with DP World; supporting the expansion and modernisation of ports and inland logistics in Africa, to accelerate the continent’s potential in becoming a global trading powerhouse.
He also sits on the board of key BII investments including Globeleq, a key player in unlocking Africa’s renewable potential and Gridworks, a pioneering development company he helped set up, that invests in Africa’s electricity transmission and distribution networks.
Prior to joining BII, Chijiutomi was a founding partner of a West Africa-focused Infra Fund based in Nigeria, where he oversaw investments in projects across the energy, water, wastewater, and transport sectors.
He has accumulated over 20 years of experience across Europe and Africa and is well-placed in the new role at BII to build on the DFI’s strong footprint across Africa as well as strengthen relationships with its investees, investors, governments and other stakeholders.
Chris Chijiutomi’s appointment comes as BII implements its five-year strategy, committed to channeling 30 per cent of its total new commitments to climate finance and 25 per cent to gender finance.
As part of his new function, Chijiutomi will build on the next phase of the strategy facilitating investments to support African countries on the pathway to net zero as well as leading the DFI’s efforts to drive inclusive growth, create partnerships with locally-owned businesses and increase investment in early-stage ventures.
Commenting on his new role, Chris Chijiutomi said: “I am delighted to take on this new opportunity as BII’s MD, Head of Africa, during this critical time as the continent is facing serious economic challenges exacerbated by global economic shocks, climate change, and rising inflation. I am keen to collaborate and work closely with our private sector partners and financial institutions to navigate the current challenges and increase investment to back the growth of African economies and industries.”
Chijiutomi will report directly to BII’s CEO Nick O’Donohoe, who said: “I am pleased to appoint Chris Chijiutomi as our new MD, Head of Africa. Chris’ appointment will allow us to continue to deepen our footprint across the continent, and leverage BII’s 75-year legacy in Africa to execute our strategic objectives of investing for productive, sustainable, and inclusive growth. I am confident that Chris’ extensive investment and leadership experience will be a key asset in maintaining BII’s reputation as one of the leading impact and private sector investors in Africa”.
Chijiutomi is a British Nigerian national, a Chartered Engineer and holds an MEng in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Surrey.