Africa is an exciting, complex, and dynamic place to invest and do business. At African Sunrise Partners, we believe Africa will drive global growth for decades to come. Fundamental research is critical to help identify specific opportunities and risks on a country-by-country basis.
Come to us for knowledge, perspective, contacts, and unbiased advice — whether you’re an institutional investor, corporate executive, policymaker, financial institution, or other type of knowledge-seeker.
Our research aims to inform, educate, and inspire clients who are newer to the Africa story, while offering independent opinions and analysis for more experienced investors or executives. Corporate and institutional investor clients tap into our vast network of contacts to identify investment themes and drill down into ideas.
We help our clients find new business opportunities, connect with potential partners, assess market trends and changes, and make smarter decisions about how to proceed.
African Sunrise Partners’ Founder and Managing Director Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook has over 30 years of global research and business experience. She had a front-row seat watching the emergence of new economies in Eastern Europe and China and has spent ten years conducting research in Africa.
Melissa Cook covered several sectors as an equity analyst at Wall Street firms including Drexel Burnham Lambert, Prudential Securities, and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. She was Head of Global Research at Lazard Asset Management.
Ms. Cook has an A.B. degree in History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is a CFA charterholder and holds FINRA Series 7, 16, 24, 63, 86, and 87 licenses. In November 2014, Melissa Cook was appointed for a two-year term on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.
Melissa Cook has built her career around jobs that require travel to new and different parts of the world — starting with Scandinavia and other parts of Western Europe, then Central and Eastern Europe, Argentina, Brazil, India, and Turkey.
Ms. Cook began traveling to Asia in 2005. She made over a dozen trips to major cities across China, and to South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore analyzing the impact of China’s rise on the world economy and on corporate profits.
Melissa Cook and her husband fell in love with East Africa after a safari trip in 2007. They decided to return to the continent as often as possible. As an analyst through and through, Melissa couldn’t help but notice major changes from year to year. New shopping malls, flashy billboards, more city traffic, modern high-rise apartments and office towers, and bigger banks—all pointed toward a compelling story that she wanted to pursue.
Melissa Cook pursued philanthropy in Africa through Women for Women International, a group that provides job and other skills training for women in post-conflict countries. The entrepreneurial women in WfWI’s Rwanda program showed that when people have jobs, they can solve their own problems. For-profit private-sector investment is critical to this process.
In 2010, Ms. Cook founded African Sunrise Partners LLC. The business uses Ms. Cook’s professional experience and deep knowledge of the continent to help clients find ways to invest in the continent’s growth.
Melissa Cook has now traveled to 16 African countries* during over 45 research trips to the continent. She has developed relationships and contacts among business leaders, government officials, and investors. African Sunrise Partners has produced over 50 detailed research reports, advised African and American companies, and offered insights to government leaders on an informal basis.
Ms. Cook is a regular speaker at Africa-related conferences. During Ms. Cook’s service on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, she worked to develop U.S. government policies and resources to support U.S. business on the continent.
*Which countries? Angola, Cameroon, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. More to come.