The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 appointed Malawian economist Kennedy K. Mbekeani as a Deputy Director General for Southern Africa Region.
Mbekeani is among five deputy directors and three directors ADB appointed for the East, Central and Southern Africa regions and Deputy Directors General for the East, Central, Northern, Southern and West Africa regions.
Kennedy is a seasoned development economist with over 20 years of senior level country and regional experience in development finance, project management, policy advisory services, and knowledge generation.
Mbekeani joined the Bank in 2009 as Chief Trade and Regional Integration Officer. He provided leadership in formulating the Bank’s trade assistance strategy to regional economic communities and on policy research on international trade, economic integration and development.
Three directors and eight deputy directors appointed by ADB Kennedy was Lead Regional Economist (2012-2014) at the South African Resource Centre. He later served as Officer in Charge and Acting Regional Director of the Bank’s South African Resource Centre in South Africa (2014-2016) where he led the largest syndicated A/B Loan arranged in Africa to-date.
He was appointed Officer in Charge of the African Development Bank’s Ghana Country Office in February 2017.
In September 2017, African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, appointed him as Country Manager, Uganda Country Office where he grew the portfolio to over US$2 billion.
Before joining the Bank, Kennedy worked for the UNDP as a Trade, Debt and Globalisation Advisor for East and Southern Africa.
Prior to that he worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, and as Senior Economist at the National Institute for Economic Policy in South Africa.
Commenting on his appointment, Mbekeani said: “I am pleased to work with President Adesina to support execution of his vision for the Bank and the continent and accelerate delivery on the High 5s”.
Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Malawi, MPhil (Monetary Economics) from the University of Glasgow, MA and a PhD in International Economics from the University of California.
He has published on trade, regional integration, and infrastructure development in Africa.
Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Adesina said: “Kennedy is a rounded professional, with broad experience in international development.
His capacity to deliver in various areas will help to build strong partnerships in the region and to promote both private and public sectors operations.” Kennedy’s boss is a Tunisian national, Leïla Farah Mokadem as Director General for Southern Africa Region.