EurAfrican 2023

Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao

Managing Director Resource Mobilization, Private Sector Partnerships and Innovative Finance Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao is the Managing Director, Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships and Innovative Finance. Since joining Gavi in 2011, her leadership has been instrumental in raising critical resources to provide equal access to vaccines for all. Under her stewardship, the Global Vaccine Summit in June 2020 raised more than US$ 8.8 billion from 31 donor governments and 8 foundations, corporations and organizations to immunize 300 million children and support the global fight against COVID-19. Currently, Ms. Saraka-Yao provides leadership and direction to COVAX – the best solution to end the acute stage of the pandemic – and the only global initiative trying to achieve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. In June 2021, with her leadership, Gavi raised more than 10 billion for COVAX AMC. In addition, she is the lead negotiator with G7 and G20 leaders in the expansion of Gavi investors’ base. In her capacity, she also drives the strategic resource mobilization of the institution, aligning Gavi’s priorities with those of public and private investors but also towards leveraging diverse financial instruments (such as International Financing Facility for immunization (IFFIm), Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), and the Matching fund (MF) to attract private sector investment and expertise. Prior to joining Gavi, Ms Saraka-Yao held several senior positions in international investment banks and multinational development agencies. As a senior executive to the President of the African Development Bank, Ms Saraka-Yao successfully led twice policy and debt relief negotiations with international financiers. In this capacity, she managed a record replenishment of US$10 billion for a three-year cycle of the African Development Fund (ADF-the concessional window of the African Development Bank), a 52% increase over the previous replenishment, which helped the ADF become one of the largest sources of concessional assistance in Africa. She also served as Lead advisor to the Senior Vice President in charge of country operations and strategy, contributing to the reform and new strategy of the Bank notably vis a vis fragile states, regional infrastructure and private sector operations.  During her fifteen years’ experience in development financing, notably at the World Bank Group, she played a key role in expanding the World Bank Group (WBG)’s private sector mandate and instruments in key emerging markets in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. She oversaw global portfolio worth USD billions of loans, grants and guarantees to scale up one of the most innovative financing programs of the Bank and leverage private finance in low-income and post-conflict countries. She was awarded twice the WBG President’s Awards of Excellence for Innovation. Marie-Ange is a French and Ivorian national. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Economics from the French Business School ESSEC. She is fluent in English, French and Portuguese.