On March 1, 2017, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina made a courtesy call on Suad Sayed Ali Omer Beheiry, widow of the first President and founding father of the African Development Bank Group, the late Dr. Mamoun Beheiry. Having been briefed of the presence of Mrs. Beneiry in Khartoum, President Adesina made the visit a priority, which he said was the only way to communicate to Mrs. Beheiry the extent to which the Bank, and indeed Africa as a whole, appreciated the efforts and visionary leadership of her late husband Dr. Beheiry.
The hour-long visit at the Beheiry family’s home in Khartoum where the 82-year-old widow lives, created a vibrant atmosphere of lively discussions between the President and Mrs. Beheiry, and her son and daughter, who were also present during the courtesy visit. The President was accompanied by the Executive Director representing Sudan at the Board, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, and Sudan Country Manager Abdul Kamara.
The visit was an opportunity for the President to update Mrs. Beheiry and her children about the latest developments in the Bank, including its current size, which he said has increased significantly both in terms of capital and operations, and strategic focus, which he said is now driven by five strategic focus areas, or the High 5s for Africa’s transformation. Underscoring the relevance of the solid foundation that Dr. Beheiry laid for Africa’s development, President Adesina reiterated that, “I may look like a very tall man today, but this is so only because I am standing on the shoulders of a very great man, Dr. Mamoun Beheiry.” Mrs. Beheiry and her children expressed their deepest appreciation for the AfDB President’s visit and for his kind words.
Mrs. Beheiry indicated that even though her husband passed away in 2002, some 15 years ago, his memory is still alive as his pioneering work to improve the well-being of Africans has always been celebrated and appreciated. Her daughter, Hind Beheiry, and son, Ahmed Mamoun Beheiry, both registered their deepest appreciation of the President’s visit, adding that it was a great honour for their family that, in spite of his extremely busy schedule, President Adesina found time to visit their home to see their mother and to pay his respects to their late father.
Mamoun Beheiry’s children informed the President of the existence of a policy think-tank the “Mamoun Beheiry Centre for Economic Policy and Research in Africa (MBC)”, which they said was created some years ago in memory of their late father. They appreciated the work of the Bank in Sudan, particularly the Bank’s support to MBC, which they said will go a long way toward helping the think-tank fulfil its objectives.
They requested that the Bank support the digitization of the documentation related to the work of their late father, so as to create an electronic archive that would preserve the work and make it easily accessible throughout Africa and around the world. The Bank President took note of the request and asked the Bank’s Sudan Country Manager, Abdul Kamara, to follow up. The visit concluded with a photo session of the President and the Mamoun Beheiry Family.