AfDB Reforms are on Track – Outgoing Executive Director Peter Sinon

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Mr. Peter Sinon, who has just been appointed Minister of Investment, Natural Resources and Industry in his country, Seychelles, served the AfDB and the continent for six good years, as Advisor and Executive Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda. As a graduate in economy of the University of East Anglia (Great Britain), ED Peter Sinon held several high governmental positions in his country prior to joining the Bank.

In this interview, he pinpointed some key challenges which, according to him, need to be met by the Bank in order to drive growth in the continent. With benefit of hindsight, Mr. Sinon explained the various activities he was involved in at the Bank during his tenure. He also stressed on aspects of his plans to ensure sustainability of relations between the Bank and his country.

“My strong feeling is that I am grateful to AfDB, my colleagues and staff for this opportunity, because it is due to our accomplishments in this Bank that I have been selected as part of Seychelles Ministerial Cabinet,” says ED Sinon. “I dedicate this appointment to Governors, my colleagues, the Bank's Staff, my own office staff and family and friends that were always ready to assist,” he further says.

According to Mr. Sinon, the Bank has done a lot to improve Africa’s economy. He also explained that the Bank’s vision, its direction and priorities are firm and relevant. “The Bank is on the right track… Its key challenges now include mobilizing enough resources to make a significant difference on the ground and dent on the scourge of poverty,” he said.  The Executive Director also stressed that the Bank should also continue upgrading good governance across the continent to attract both local and foreign investments, stimulate and leverage remittances by the Diaspora to the continent; and to build capacity both within the Bank itself and in member countries for greater cohesion and relevant approaches to address emerging issues such as climate change and other cross-cutting elements such as gender mainstreaming.

“As a whole, these challenges do reflect national programmes as well as member countries’ development priorities,” he noted, explaining that “the continent’s wealth mostly lies underground in its wide variety of minerals, above ground in agriculture products and its forests, water as well as its flora and fauna. Others include its human resources, who are both consumers and producers dependent on scarce and precious natural resources that must be exploited in a sustainable manner.”

Amongst the major Boards activities Mr. Sinon was involved in during his tenure, one could note, campaigning and standing solidly behind Bank Group’s president “who for the first time emerged from our constituency in the history of this institution and be able to assist and marvel at the accomplishments he has registered.” “We also put in our modest and humble contributions in the GCI VI processes that culminated in the biggest of such increases in the history of the Bank at the 2010 Annual Meetings in Abidjan,” the ED explained.  He also emphasized his constituency’s fight and support for decentralization, as well consistently highlighting the need for improved conditions for local staff to be fully integrated into the Bank.

“Yet what really - really makes me proud is seeing the Bank’s president fulfill his promise for this institution to earn its "triple A" not only from the Capital Markets but also from its clients - the member states,” Mr. Sinon further said,  "The networking I have had the privilege to develop over my years at the Bank is now invaluable. They shall definitely come in handy".