THINK Unit Lead
KPMG East Africa
When asked why he chose Africa, Hugh Scott jokingly says ‘I didn’t want to get on the 8.14 train to London’. In 1975 when he graduated from university and all his classmates looked for lucrative jobs in London, Hugh had a hankering for Africa’s development in agribusiness.He spent 16 years (1975-1991) working in agriculture and agribusiness in Eastern and Southern Africa for the private sector and government. After that, Hugh spent another16 years (to 2007) working for the Department for International Development (DFID) in Kenya and South Africa, as their senior private sector adviser for Africa. In that time, he played a major role in developing DFID’s interest, knowledge and experience in private sector development, particularly financial sector development, in Africa. Hugh has been a key player in addressing financial inclusion issues in Africa from the early days of the Gemini conference in Indonesia (1991), through to the development of Grameen Bank clones (K-REP, Pride, Faulu, Finca and KWFT, among others) in East Africa.
As an agricultural economist, Hugh has a lot of faith in the potential of the agricultural sector in transforming the economies of many African countries. By 2003, he was working on a concept to match donor funding with private sector investment. He convinced 10 of the world’s largest companies to work with him and in 2006 they launched the $200m Investment Climate Facility for Africa, whose tagline was ‘Making Africa an Even Better Place to do Business’. Later as the Director of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund by AGRA, Hugh was keen to bring his expertise in the competition so as to get the right set of projects to create an impact, even one with far reaching effects on the economies of African countries.
By the end of his tenure the AECF had grown from US$30m to US$253m (far exceeding target growth to US$75m), run 18 competitions in 6 years (target 6 competitions in 4 years), funded 208 projects in 23 countries, and had a positive impact on the lives of approximately 7 million poor rural people. The AECF has now been established as a legal entity, separate from AGRA in May 2017. Hugh now leads the THINK service pillar in KPMG IDAS where he heads the firm’s programme design activities.
M.Sc. Agricultural Economics (Distinction), Wye College, London University
B.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture Systems and Economics, Reading University
Member of the Agricultural Economics Society
Current: Director of the THINK programme design unit, IDAS practice, KPMG East Africa
Director, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, Lead Donor DFID, hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
Senior Private Sector Adviser, Africa Division, DFID
Agricultural Adviser, ESCO Kenya Ltd and Eastern Produce Ltd
Assistant District Agricultural Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Kenya