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Harald Pöltner


Leads our economic development work in Africa and assists investors, project developers, and donors in attracting and executing sustainable investments into the continent

Harald is a partner in McKinsey’s Nairobi office and head of the firm’s social, healthcare, and public entities hub (SHaPE) in Africa. He brings deep knowledge of economic development topics in emerging markets with a focus on early-stage project development and project financing. Harald has over 20 years of professional experience, of which 15 years has been with McKinsey. He has supported clients on over 50 projects across the globe, including large, multiyear transformation programs in complex operational setups.

Some of Harald’s recent work includes the following:

  • supporting numerous investment transactions in the manufacturing sector in East and West Africa to reach financial close, including business plans, market assessments, and capital-raising approaches
  • working with leading global and regional infrastructure-investment entities as well as development-finance institutions on their business strategies and expansion plans across sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, including developing bankable projects to close the African infrastructure gap
  • helping public-private partnership (PPP) units and other relevant public- or private-sector stakeholders in countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America to identify, structure, and implement PPP opportunities
  • developing and implementing power-sector reform strategies to improve access to affordable and reliable electricity in multiple African countries, with an emphasis on driving private-sector participation in infrastructure development to address funding gaps—such as results-based financing or public-private partnerships

Harald joined McKinsey in Vienna, Austria and transferred to the Nairobi office in 2016. He is passionate about contributing to the achievement of the United Nation's sustainable development goals on the continent, especially in the areas of electricity access and infrastructure.

Prior to McKinsey, Harald held different roles in finance and controlling in the European aerospace sector. He is a German native speaker and fluent in English as well as French.


Anything but average: A subnational perspective on Kenya’s development,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

Solving Africa’s infrastructure paradox,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020


Manager, finance and controlling


Vienna University of Economics and Business