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Speaker > Biography

Eric KacouEric Kacou, WG'04

Managing Director
OTF Group

Mr. Eric Kacou is one of two Managing Directors of the OTF Group, the only US-based, venture-backed firm focused on emerging economies. He oversees Strategy and Marketing for the firm, and the Africa region.

Eric leads the Rwanda on the National Innovation and Competitiveness (RNIC) Program, a an initiative by President of Rwanda to upgrade the Competitiveness of Rwanda’s economy. This Program, which began in 2001, and is the first of its kind in Africa, is credited with helping Rwanda double its exports in three years, fostering the renaissance of the country’s private sector, and creating wage increases of up to thirty percent, on an annual growth basis, for workers. 

In addition, Eric currently oversees the Pioneers of Prosperity grant and award program. This is an annual, multi-million dollar, global initiative between The Social Equity Venture Fund (SEVEN), the John F. Templeton Foundation, Legatum Development, and the OTF Group; it recognizes dynamic companies in emerging markets that can be an inspiration for future business leaders.

Eric Kacou has advised leaders of Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan, Mali, Burundi, Bermuda, Burkina Faso and the World Bank on competitiveness. His work has covered a variety of industries and functions including Tourism, Coffee, Tea, Mining, Horticulture, ICT, development banking, investment promotion, and private sector institutions. 

Eric earned his MBA at the Wharton School, and a B.A. in Finance at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Montreal, Canada.  He is the author of several articles and papers on competitiveness and private sector development in Africa. He is a contributor to an original book of essays, called “The Poor are Awake, Purpose Driven Lives in Development,” to be published by Templeton Press in the spring of 2009. He is co-author, with Michael Fairbanks, on a book about Rwanda’s economic transformation, due out in 2010. Eric is a frequent speaker at multilateral and bilateral aid organizations, business conferences and universities, including recently, the COMESA Business Summit, Wharton’s Africa Business forum, and Harvard’s Africa Business Conference.  










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