17.05.2005 Business & Finance

African Central Bank governors to elect new

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From Gideon Sackitey, GNA Special Correspondent Abuja, Nigeria

Abuja, May 17, GNA - Governors of African Central banks would on Wednesday morning elect a new President of the African Development Bank to fill the top position of Africa's premiere financial institution for the next five years. The election, which would take place in Abuja ahead of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings, was originally fixed for Wednesday evening.

However, it was brought forward to make way for clear and forthright discussions on the other agenda of the Meetings. Six persons are competing for the ADB presidency. They are Ghana's Kingsley Y. Amoako, Nigeria's Olabisi Ogunjobi, Zimbabwe's Simba Makoni, Cameroon's Theodore Nkodo, Gabon's Casimir Oye-Mba and Rwanda's Martin Kaberuka. Egypt has withdrawn its candidacy. No reasons were given for the decision.

At a tense session where all the candidates made 10-minute presentations outlining their visions and how they wish to move the Bank group forward, Mr Amoako said he was bringing tremendous expertise from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) where he had been engaged in working for the progress of Africa. He said there was an unfinished agenda and was convinced that the ADB offered a pivotal opportunity to advance the remaining part of the agenda to make ADB take a powerful stand on world affairs. Mr Amoako noted that out-going President of the Bank, Mr Omar Kabbaj, had played a vital role in positioning the Bank to play an enhanced role in Africa's future.

"You have built a sound institution endowed with excellent staff, chartered a clear vision to make this institution have greater impact in the region and at the country level ... It is a strong programme and as President, I would carry it out with enthusiasm and commitment." Mr Amoako said the ADB had critical roles to play in further developing its performance as Africa's premier development finance institution arguing that he was the right person to lead the way. He said it was now vital for the Bank to take the lead in implementing an African owned and led development agenda. "The Bank's work must become better recognized both within the region and outside. In my view ADB must continue to build up its regional and institutional capacity so that it can play an even stronger role in supporting regional integration and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals."

He commended the Bank's high financial standing, noting that further enhancement of the policy strengths of the Bank would be crucial to improvements in core operations. Mr Amoako said the Bank needed to have a stronger policy voice because policy analysis and policy dialogue were critical to ensuring quality in the Bank's daily operations. "I have a strong track record in policy leadership, in bringing Africa together on key policies, moving policy to national levels and articulating Africa's policies to the global community to gain their support. "I have done this on trade, debt and other issues regularly sharpening policy analysis and improving policy advocacy, which have been my priority at the ECA."

Mr Amoako said as a development banker, the ADB needed to focus its strengths to contribute to the "Big Push" and advancement of the African development agenda in these core areas over the next five years. "I have the needed background, management skills, proven motivation to do the job well. I care deeply about Africa and want to keep the promises we are making to Africa's people to improve their futures. I want to use my preparation over the last 30 years for the challenges we face."

Mr Ogunjobi outlined his vision saying he had been with the Bank for a long time and would move to make the ADB more responsive to the development needs of the people on the continent. CVs of candidates vying for ADP Presidency From Gideon Sackitey, GNA Special Correspondent Abuja, Nigeria

Abuja, May 17, GNA - The following are the CVs of candidates contesting the position of President of the African Development Bank. Central Bank Governors attending the ADB Group Meetings would vote to elect a new candidate on Wednesday.

Six persons are competing for the ADB presidency. They are Ghana's Kingsley Y. Amoako, Nigeria's Olabisi Ogunjobi, Zimbabwe's Simba Makoni, Cameroon's Theodore Nkodo, Gabon's Casimir Oye-Mba and Rwada's Martin Kaberuka.

Kingsley Amoako: He is 60 years old and a Ghanaian. He has been the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa over the past 10 years. He has led the organisation, the regional arm of the United Nations in Africa, at the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations since 1995.

Dr Amoako's priorities as Executive Secretary have been to initiate and manage a process of wide-ranging reforms aimed at making the Commission a more rigorous centre of excellence that is better equipped to deliver high-quality services and products to meet the complex needs of African governments and people. Under his leadership, the organization has revamped its research and advocacy work to ensure it is policy relevant and at the cutting edge of Africa's development agenda. Its activities are now focused on the following priorities: Tracking performance, identifying best practices and facilitating peer learning among African countries in key areas including, macroeconomic and growth policies, poverty reduction, gender policies and governance;

Enhancing African regional economic integration and increasing the continent's participation in and benefits from, global trade; Supporting the growth of an information society on the continent through the harnessing of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs);

Promoting the application of scientific and technological innovation to food security and sustainable development; Assessing the impact of HIV/AIDS on key areas of governance and economic development and assisting African policy makers to devise effective policies to deal with the pandemic; and Promoting a transformed partnership between Africa and its international development partners that is based on African ownership and responsibilities, as well as donor aid effectiveness and policy coherence.

Prior to moving to the ECA, Dr Amoako worked in the World Bank for two decades in senior positions including; Director of the Education and Social Policy Department with responsibility for providing strategic leadership for the Bank's programmes on poverty reduction, education, gender, labour markets and social protection (1993-1995). Dr Amoako is Chairman of the Commission for HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (CHGA) and a member of the Commission for Africa established by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He is also a member of the Taskforce on Global Public Goods. Mr Amoako is a board member of the Development Gateway Foundation and Chairman of its Editorial Committee.

He is also a member of the Global Information and Infrastructure Commission (GIIC) and serves on the World Bank Institute's Advisory Council. He recently served as a member of the Commission on Capital Flows to Africa and on the World Health Organization's high-level Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (CMH).

Dr Amoako obtained his B.A. (Hons) with a concentration in Economics from the University of Ghana, Legon and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He is sponsored by Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda and hopes to use his wealth of experience at the ECA and recent collaborations with the ADB on key initiatives as a launch pad for moving the Bank too much greater heights.

Dr Martin Kaberuka, 54, is sponsored by Kenya and Seychelles and is the Finance Minister of Rwanda. He is the longest serving cabinet member, clocking eight years to date and widely credited to be one of the key members of President Paul Kagame's highly successful reconstruction team.

He previously held the Minister of Budget and Planning portfolio and had privately engaged in banking, industry, finance and international commodity diplomacy.

Dr Kaberuka started his education in Tanzania before moving to the UK where he got a PhD in Economics at Glasgow University in Scotland. He speaks and writes fluent French and English. Dr Theodore Nkodo is a 59-year-old Cameroonian currently serving as ADB's Vice-President in charge of Operations for North, East and South regions.

He has been at the bank for 10 years after over two decades at the World Bank. Mr Nkodo has acted as President of the ADB on several occasions. His 21 years at the World Bank gives him a broad knowledge, which he is putting to good use at the ADB.

Equipped with a PhD in Economics, he has lectured at John Hopkins University in Washington D.C., USA. His vision is to provide overall leadership and guidance to the Bank Group.

Olabisi Ogunjobi, Nigeria's 58-year-old ADB veteran, has 27 years experience at the bank. He serves as the Vice-President, Operations for West and Central Africa.

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