NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – Africa Integras (AI) has announced the appointment of Amini Kajunju to the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships of the New York-based investment firm focused on the development of holistic mixed-use education infrastructure, which includes academic facilities, student hostels, faculty housing, and related commercial and leisure facilities.
Kajunju, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the first at Africa Integras to hold this position, which was created to signal Africa Integras’s long-standing commitment to developing world-class learning environments both through physical and social investments. With its $64 million investment in the University of Ghana well underway, it is now the appropriate moment to support the University’s larger ambitions to ensure this transformative investment in facilities translates into an enhanced academic and social experience for students and faculty overall.
Kajunju brings 15 years of experience as an entrepreneurial nonprofit leader. She was most recently the first African-born ever to serve as the President and CEO of the Africa-America Institute (AAI), the oldest nonprofit organization of its kind in the US. While at AAI, Ms. Kajunju spearheaded AAI’s transformation into an innovative, vital hub of African talent, a convening forum for prominent thought leaders on issues related to Africa, and a repository of extensive information on the continent. She initiated and directed the implementation of new programs to support higher education in Africa including the Future Leaders Legacy Fund and the East African Development Bank STEM Scholarship Program.
Before AAI, Ms. Kajunju was Executive Director of the New York-based Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate, train and inspire under-resourced entrepreneurs in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where she served as Executive Director for 10 years.
“Amini Kajunju is passionate about investing in the academic and infrastructure needs of African universities,” said Andrea Pizziconi, Managing Director of Africa Integras. “Her creativity, relationships, and extensive experience working with a variety of for-profit and nonprofit stakeholders is exactly the right fit for what we had in mind for this critical work. Africa cannot realize its economic potential without expanding its educated middle class. Our university partners are some of the oldest and most respected institutions in the countries where we invest. They are centers of excellence attracting funding, research grants and quality employment opportunities for their students. Kajunju’s efforts will help these institutions realize more ambitious goals in these key areas to complement the additional physical infrastructure they desperately need to expand enrollment.”
As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Kajunju will work closely with Africa Integras’s university parties like the University of Ghana to help them enhance and expand their network of partnerships with academic, financial, private, nonprofit, and governmental organizations, all of whom can support its academic and institutional objectives. Dedicating resources to this critical relationship-building work, demonstrates AI’s commitment to structuring projects with balanced mutual benefits, both social and financial, that encourage other universities on the continent to explore similar private sector investments.
“Africa Integras is a pioneer in using affordable private sector financing to close the Africa education infrastructure gap which now stands at over $48 billion” said Kajunju. “When this opportunity was presented to me, I knew I had to take it. I could not pass up the chance to play a role in solving a critical problem facing African universities today as they work hard to accommodate exponentially increasing enrollment of students and prepare them for a 21st century global economy”.
About Africa Integras
Africa Integras invests in the development of education infrastructure including academic classrooms, student hostels, faculty housing and related commercial and leisure facilities through a Build-Operate-Transfer structure that helps African governments and universities achieve financial sustainability while addressing their infrastructure expansion needs with innovative design and financing structures. Managed by the Christie Company, which serves as each project’s developer, Africa Integras brings together best-in-class international and local implementation partners to ensure each project undertaken realizes the optimal social, environmental, and economic impact for the student and community stakeholders.