Accelerating inclusive and resilient economic growth in East Africa

How we do it

Our Purpose

To build stronger and more inclusive economies

Our Mission

Working in partnership with others to catalyse and demonstrate sector transformation in East Africa

Our strategic objectives

Transform key sectors in East Africa by developing ambitious strategies and partnering with others to implement them

Synthesise and share lessons from our programmes and elsewhere to enable their application at scale in our own sectors and in others

Strategic Enabler
Ensure GA is a leading and effective organisation in sector transformation – capable of adapting and evolving to realise our strategic objectives

About Gatsby Africa


Our founder and funder

David Sainsbury, our founder and funder, is part of a family with a long history of donating personal wealth to philanthropic causes.

He has experience at the highest levels of business and government and brings an exceptionally valuable perspective to Gatsby Africa’s work.

For many years, David Sainsbury has dedicated himself to exploring how countries can transform and grow their economies in a way which provides opportunities to, and raises incomes of entire populations. As part of this, he is a strong believer in the importance of science and innovation and has written books on the role that key sectors or industries can play in building national capabilities to kick-start economic transformation.

“Foundations can take risks and innovate in ways that are very difficult for governments, and I strongly believe they should play this role. However, you have to be prepared to fail if you are really looking to move the agenda forward. At Gatsby, we believe such failures can be extremely valuable – helping us test assumptions, learn about what is possible, and change course towards eventual success.”
– Lord David Sainsbury

Why East Africa

East Africa is an exciting region with young populations, great access to regional and international markets and many sectors ready for transformation.

The challenge of job-creation at scale:

Poverty levels and inequality remain stubbornly high in East Africa despite relatively strong GDP growth rates


Most of the working population continue to engage in agriculture or informal services for their livelihoods, which are beset by productivity, market and climate challenges


80 million people expected to enter the workforce between 2015 and 2050, meaning that East Africa needs a radical acceleration of job creation

Our Approach to Sector Transformation

Our aim is to transform high-potential sectors by facilitating competitive, inclusive, and resilient growth, capable of inspiring a step change in the wider economy and generating significant gains in jobs and incomes.

Our approach is founded on lessons from global evidence as well as from our own work in East Africa over the past 30+ years. 


Firms compete in target markets by raising productivity, efficiency, and quality, and innovating to develop new products or ways of working


Sector growth generates economic opportunities at scale while reducing inequality and removing barriers to participation


Sectors can adapt and evolve to overcome new challenges and create new opportunities, maintaining competitiveness and inclusiveness


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