Speaker Details


Tomas Sales

UNDP Special advisor for Private Sector and SDG Financing South Africa

Tomas Sales is UNDP Special Advisor for Private Sector and SDG Financing recently posted to Pretoria, South Africa. He also provides oversight to Private Sector Unit of the Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Cluster of the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa. He helped create and become the manager of UNDP AFIM (African Facility for Inclusive Markets) in Joahnensburg and Addis Ababa, served as the UNDP Growing Sustainable Business Initiative Manager and Value Chain Team Leader from New York. In terms of professional and training credentials he is an expert on Emerging Capital Markets and Business Finance Models; Private Sector Development and Engagement Strategies, Value Chain Development Solutions, Impact Investment and related Blended Finance vehicles for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa and AFIM he has successfully worked with more than 45 African countries governments and their private sector stakeholders ranging from smallholder organizations, SMEs and large corporations, investors, development partners and international organizations. He current leads in the design, development and delivery of flagship knowledge products, programing and services including the UNDP’s  Africa Impact Investment Action Plan and Sector Development Initiative”; the African Inclusive Business Report advocating for the Ecosystem Collaborative Platforms”; the African Agribusiness Supplier Development Program; three Regional Food Value Chains Facilitation Platforms and Catalyst Grant Grants with ECOWAS, COMESA, EAC; the CAADP Investment Facilitation Program, the 14 Countries Great Lakes Sector Investment Opportunities Briefs. He is also directly involved in the ongoing feasibility study and business plan proposal for the creation of a AUC led “African Inclusive Markets Center of Excellence”, a Think and Do Tank innovative vehicle to “support continental economic transformation projects through Public Private Sector Collaboration to strengthen and scaling up of successful inclusive business and market development models in Africa. He is the  principal UNDP expert leading with the feasibility study for the creation of a Hybrid Impact Investment Vehicle for Africa –as well as supporting the incubation new Impact@Africa networking body, the continental impact investment advocacy and concerted action body. Tomas is also providing leadership in the areas of inclusive entrepneurship through the YAS!, an africa youth entrepreneurial portal and digital plataform as well as contributing to the scalling up of innovative inclusive business models with the implementation of country projects and innovation challenge awards.

He began working for UNDP in 2008 as the Global Manager for the program GSB (Growing Sustainable Business), its UNDP Lead Partnership Broker and Value Chain Team Coordinator which lasted till 2011.

From 2005 -2008 he served as an Emerging Capital Markets Director and Senior Investment Advisor both with Caswell Capital Partners, a US based private equity firm and Development Partnerships- Devpar Group, a Canadian and international financial advisory firm focusing on Emerging and Frontier Markets Investments and assisting in the development of equity/stock and bond markets.

From 2000 -2005 Mr. Sales worked in Wall Street in New York for the Aidoo Group Capital Markets, an international investment boutique, where he started as a Research Analyst working on investment research for South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand markets. Clients included the Bank of America, Bankers Trust and a number of Emerging Markets Funds such as the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Fund and the New Modern Africa Group Fund.

Tomas Sales started his work career in 1980s as a junior development diplomat based in the Mozambican Foreign Service Ministry in Mozambique with temporary postings in Germany, Russia and the UN Headquarters in New York. He later became the Head the Department of International Economic Cooperation and Conferences in the same Ministry.

In terms of academics he completed in 1993, a Post Master Graduate Diploma in International Finance and Business as well as Master of Arts on International Economics and Development from Fordham University, New York, United States.  He has completed specialized trainings in project management, development economics and finance, value chain development, security markets, private equity, PPPs, blended finance, among other topics.