Zahid Torres-Rahman

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Biographical Information

"I am the Founding Director of Business Action for Africa, an international network of over 150 businesses and development partners, led by a board of multinational corporations, DFID, CDC and the International Business Leaders Forum. Members work collectively to advocate for policies to drive growth and poverty reduction in Africa, to develop on-the-ground programmes, and to share best practice.

"I also founded Business Fights Poverty, the leading online community for business and development, connecting over 10,000 professionals.

"Through the strategy and communications agency that I co-founded, Inspiris, I also regularly act as an adviser to a range of organisations. In my capacity as lead adviser to the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) on business engagement, I helped develop the Business Call to Action (BCTA) (a UN-based platform to catalyze corporate commitments) and the Business Innovation Facility (for which I also developed the online practitioner hub).

"Working at the interface of business and development, Inspiris helps its clients identify and build meaningful connections and partnerships with their key stakeholders. Recently, we helped SABMiller set up a major partnership with DFID (through a successful bid to the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) and the NGO FARM-Africa, to build smallholder farmer capacity in support of the company’s local sourcing objectives in South Sudan.

"I am an expert in private sector development and was a member of the Steering Group for DFID’s Private Sector Development Strategy. I was also a Special Adviser to the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee Inquiry on Private Sector Development. I was the lead author of the Commission for Africa’s chapter on Growth and Poverty Reduction. I am a member of the Advisory Panel of the Vodafone Social-Economic Impact of Mobiles Programme and a Board Member of the volunteering charity, Project Trust.

"Previously, I led the private sector and poverty reduction branch at HM Treasury in the UK, and have also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting Services, the Guyanese Ministry of Finance, and as a teacher in Zimbabwe. I have a BSc in Economics and Politics from the University of Bath and an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge." [1]

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  1. Business Fights Poverty Zahid Torres-Rahman, organizational web page, accessed February 4, 2013.