Richard Avery, Regional Manager, West Africa
Richard Avery is the Regional Manager in charge of eleQtra’s activities across West Africa. He has extensive experience of power and infrastructure project development across Africa. Richard acted as a developer on projects including the $900m 350MW Cenpower IPP in Ghana and the 4,000 acre Chiansi irrigation project in Zambia. Currently he is leading the development of eleQtra’s 50MW wind project and 20MWp solar project in Ghana and overseeing project development activities in Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Senegal.
Prior to joining eleQtra in 2007, Richard worked at Citigroup’s Infrastructure and Energy Finance group advising on and arranging major project finance transactions in the Middle East and Africa. Previously, he was a management consultant focusing on industrial strategy and restructuring projects in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Richard Avery holds Masters degrees in Development Studies and Engineering, both from the University of Cambridge, and a Diploma in Financial Management from the ACCA.
Philippa Buckley, Regional Manager, Zambia
Philippa Buckley is the Regional Manager for Zambia, overseeing the project development for all initiatives in the country. Philippa joined eleQtra in 2013 as a Project Developer, focusing on the development of private power generation infrastructure in Southern and East Africa. Now based in Lusaka, she is working on a selection of hydropower and solar power projects across Zambia as well as leading the eleQtra (Southern Africa) Ltd team in-country.
Prior to joining eleQtra, Philippa was Special Adviser to the UK Secretary of State for International Development (DFID), giving strategic policy and communications advice to Ministers on British international development activity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier she worked for the UK Opposition international development team and was a researcher for a member of the UK Parliament’s Select Committee on International Development.
Philippa Buckley holds an MA from the University of Cambridge and an MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University.
Marianne Mutagamba, Developer
Marianne Mutagamba is a Project Developer working on infrastructure projects with eleQtra (East Africa). She is a Civil Engineer, with Post Graduate qualification in Shared Water Resources Management. Currently she is also completing her MSc in Hydraulics Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, where she was involved in regional water resource management with Nile Basin Initiative.
Prior to joining eleQtra, Marianne’s gained vast experience in business development, project management, procurement, logistics and infrastructure in the rapidly developing Uganda. She led the team that pioneered Private Sector Management of Ferry Services on Lake Victoria as pioneer Public Private Partnership with Government of Uganda. Marianne has deep understanding of international procurement and infrastructure funding requirements having worked under European Union Roads Rehabilitation Projects, the African Development Bank funded projects for water supply infrastructure and various road projects co-funded by the Donors and Government of Uganda.
Marianne’s involvement in handling engineering activities, procurement, tendering processes and contract management over the years has equipped her with the vast technical ability and made her key personnel in the management of infrastructure projects in the country.
John Opiro, Regional Manager, East Africa
John Opiro is the Regional Manager for the East African Region where he leads all Project development under the eleQtra portfolio. He joined eleQtra in 2007 as the Senior Developer and Managing Director for the Kalangala Infrastructure Project, a $50 Million greenfield Infrastructures project on Bugala Island in Lake Victoria. This Infrastructure project provided the first off grid Solar Hybrid System in Uganda, first privately operated Ferry Services system, Water Supply and Road Rehabilitation under a Public Private Partnership.
Prior to joining eleQtra John was involved in the establishment of downstream Petroleum Distribution Infrastructure in the East African region with Kenol-Kobil Group of Companies, Water Supply Infrastructure under $250million DANIDA funded Project, Rehabilitation of Kampala City Sewerage Systems, $50Million KfW funded rehabilitation of Tanzanian Central Railways and construction of Highways in the East African Region.
John Opiro is a Civil Engineer, graduate of Dar-Es-Salaam University, Tanzania, and holds Postgraduate qualifications from Loughborough University UK, and Uganda Management Institute.
Lauren Thomas, Regional Manager, Mozambique
Lauren Thomas is the Regional Manager for Mozambique, overseeing the project development for all initiatives in the country. Lauren joined eleQtra in 2011 as Project Developer and Financial Analyst. Lauren has a background focused in corporate finance and development finance in Southern Africa. Prior to joining eleQtra, Lauren worked with TechnoServe, Inc. to facilitate the launch of a smallholder facility for the African Agriculture Fund, a $500 million pan-African private equity fund, and to initiate private capital raising activities for SME entrepreneurs in Africa. She also has provided advisory financial services for AgDevCo, the South African Trade Hub and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mozambique, and founded the social enterprise Mozambikes to apply bicycles to combat rural poverty.
Before moving to Mozambique in 2008, Lauren was in the Leveraged Finance Group of Deerfield Capital Management LLC as part of a 5-person team that built and managed a $400 million alternative investments portfolio. Lauren began her career in the Financial Sponsor Group of Banc of America Securities LLC, the investment banking subsidiary of Bank of America.
Lauren Thomas graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School and a B.A. in Spanish from the College of Arts and Science. Lauren holds a bilingual Masters of Business Administration at IESE Business School in English and Spanish.