AfDB President Starts Second Term

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, will on September 1, 2010, start a second five-year mandate. Mr. Kaberuka was reelected by acclamation during the institution’s Annual Meetings held from 27-28 May 2010 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Kaberuka’s first term focused on wide-ranging reforms at the Bank where he re-orientated the institution’s operations towards key sectors such as the private sector, regional integration, infrastructure and governance. Focus was also put on the provision of special support to fragile states and post-conflict countries. Under his administration, the AfDB adopted a Medium Term Strategy which serves as the institution’s road map.

Following the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the AfDB stepped in to help African countries, committing several additional billions of dollars. In recognition of the major role that the AfDB plays, the institution’s shareholders tripled its capital, taking it to US$100 billion in May 2010.

As the global economic and financial crisis unfolded, the AfDB served as the continent’s legitimate voice, acting as a partner with wide knowledge of the continent. Mr. Kaberuka also attended all the major summits - G8, G20, AU, Africa-France, ECOWAS, COMESA…etc. – representing the AfDB.

“Throughout successive crises, the African Development Bank Group, alongside other IFIs, has played a key role in both Middle and Low Income countries. We responded appropriately, helping them weather the storms and adapt to the changing circumstances,” Mr. Kaberuka recalled in his closing statement at the 2010 Annual Meetings in Abidjan.

Equipped with a clear strategy, the AfDB has become a benchmark institution for the continent. In line with the institution’s strategy, the development of the continent’s private sector constitutes a priority under Mr. Kaberuka. “By the end of the year 2009, we had delivered support equal to 12.6 billion US dollars compared to 5.5 billion in the previous year, he said, adding that the Bank “provided frontloaded additional budget support, trade finance and liquidity. Our private sector window filled the gap left by sponsors of key infrastructure projects.”

As a manager, Mr. Kaberuka actively participates in development forums. He has written articles on poverty reduction, economic development and climate change, often relayed to the wider public by the global media.

As an authoritative voice on African development issues, Mr. Kaberuka starts a second mandate with much respect. “At the G20, if there is an African issue, who are the shareholders going to turn to as a credible voice? It’s Kaberuka,” according to Todd Moss of the Center for Global Development in Washington.

Mr. Kaberuka’s contribution to efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change was recognized by the United Nations Secretary-General. Mr.Ban Ki-moon when he established the high-level advisory group on climate change financing to identify potential sources of new and additional resources to finance mitigation and adaptation action in developing countries.   

Mr. Kaberuka was appointed member of the Group chaired by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, in his personal capacity.

A trained economist, Donald Kaberuka studied in Tanzania and the United Kingdom where he obtained a Master and PhD in economics at Glasgow University in Scotland. Prior to joining the AfDB, he worked for close to a decade in the banking and international trade domains. He was appointed Rwanda’s finance minister in 1997. 

As head of the institution, he chairs the board of directors of the AfDB and the African Development Fund (ADF). Mr. Kaberuka became the institution’s 7th president when he  succeeded Mr. Omar Kabbaj from Morocco in 2005.

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