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AfDB President Announces Senior Women Appointments


The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced the following appointment

  • Cecilia Akintomide is confirmed as Secretary General
  • Hela Cheikhrouhou as Director of the new Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department
  • Gemina Archer-Davies as Director of Corporate Human Resources Management.

President Kaberuka said: “I am delighted to make these appointments to key senior positions and to increase the number of women at senior levels, including the appointment of the first female Secretary General.  I am particularly pleased that both Cecilia and Hela are internal promotions, demonstrating the development of talent within the Bank.  I very much hope that they will be role models for the many younger staff who I know have great potential.

All three appointments are well merited: with her extensive experience and diplomatic skills, Cecilia has already established herself as a trusted interlocutor with the Board and Governors; Hela has demonstrated exceptional capacity to deliver in the AfDB private sector department and will provide drive and leadership for the new Department; Gemina brings a wealth of HR experience in international organizations, of best practice, and will ensure we maintain the same standards.  I look forward to working closely with all of them.”


  • Cecilia Akintomide, Secretary General: “The recent appointments of my colleagues and I to such key strategic management positions, not because we are women, but because we are qualified, is another proof of a truly changed African Development Bank. The President has established a legacy of appointing high performing women to senior management positions, which is further being strengthened by the new appointments. The President has set very high standards, our shareholders and clients have very high expectations of the Bank. The joy is that we have in the Bank, a resident Board, Management and Staff more than ready and able to deliver. These are very exciting times on the continent, and certainly in the Bank.”
  • Gemina Archer-Davies, Human Resources Management Director: “I believe that the appointments announced by the President, which are merit-based, underscore the Bank's unwavering commitment to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce that promotes the core values of the institution. These appointments have set precedence not only for the Bank as an institution but send a positive message to the Regional Member Countries to routinely give full consideration to capacity building and gender equity.”
  • Hela Cheikhrouhou, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Director: “I am very honoured and humbled by the vote of confidence that the President has vested in me through this nomination. I see great opportunities for the AfDB to ramp up its support to regional member countries in the area of sustainable development and energy access. I am excited and eager to work with internal and external partners to deliver accelerated and climate-friendly development. It is well recognized that Africa has huge untapped renewable energy resources; through partnerships with the public and the private sector, we hope to help harness an increasing proportion of this potential”.

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