New Forests makes five hires to Africa team

Eva Warigia has joined New Forests from the East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Asasociation to become associate director, investor relations, Africa, along with four other appointments.

Asset manager New Forests has appointed five people to its Africa-focused team based in Kenya, bolstering a strategy that it launched in 2021.

The Sydney-headquartered firm announced that Eva Warigia has joined as associate director, investor relations, Africa, with responsibility for building relationships with investors in the firm’s African Forestry Impact Platform. The strategy aims to raise up to $500 million over the next three years to scale sustainable forestry in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Warigia joins from the East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, where she was most recently chief executive. Prior to her six years with the EAVCA, she was a senior consultant at Africa Practice, providing consulting and advisory services to clients.

New Forests launched the open-end NFIP in October 2021 with backing from three cornerstone investors: British International Investment (formerly known as CDC Group), the UK’s development finance institution; Norfund, the Norwegian government’s investment fund for developing countries; and Finnfund, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation. The fund held a A$200 million ($131 million; €120 million) first close in October 2022.

Joining Warigia are four further appointments. Kuda Phairah joined as associate director, operations, in November 2022 from his role as general manager of forestry at York Timbers in South Africa. Phairah will lead New Forests’ Kenya-based operations team.

Moses Kimani joined in August 2022 to take on the role of associate director, investments, with responsibility for originating and executing transactions in Africa. Kimani was most recently an investment principal at private equity firm Phatisa Group.

In July 2022, Stephanie Bishop joined as associate director, environmental and social following seven years in a compliance role at Miro Forestry and Timber Products. And in January 2023, Sean Lloyd moved internally from New Forests’ Singapore office, where he was an analyst in the investment analytics team, to take on the role of manager, operations, in Kenya.

New Forests’ Africa team is lead by senior director, Africa, Paul Ohaga.

Ohaga said in a statement: “Africa has growing economies, rising timber demand and is home to some of world’s most biodiverse forests. Our presence in Africa is part of our overall strategy to consolidate and grow the plantation forests while seeking to support forest conservation, restoration of degraded land and expansion of community-based forestry programs. We’re excited to be building a team of highly skilled and passionate people, who share in our vision of seeing investment in land use and forestry as central to the transition to a sustainable future.”