Leader Profile: Domina Buzingo, African Development Bank Resident Representative to Kenya

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a multilateral institution established in 1964 to promote sustainable economic growth and social development in Africa. It places an emphasis on education, structural reforms, the role of women, and the reduction of poverty in the region. Mrs. Domina Buzingo is the Resident Representative of the AfDB in Kenya.

As the highest ranking representative in Kenya, Mrs. Buzingo assumes a wide range of responsibilities, the most prominent of which is to improve on the design and execution of the Bank’s development projects and programs in Kenya. “The development environment in which the Bank is operating presents particular challenges that we must work with authorities to overcome in our common drive to achieve results on the ground. At the AfDB, we feel an urgent need to enhance the effectiveness of our operations at the country level. We believe that this can be achieved through more focused actions including timely responses, quality of responses, close follow up, reduction of implementing delays, close and regular interactions with all the parties involved in the projects: the beneficiaries, the government, executing agencies, and other partners,” states Mrs. Buzingo.

She highlights the importance of being aware and exposed to the situation faced by AfDB on the ground as one her principal responsibilities as well. “Being present in the field and having direct and regular interaction with all the key actors of economic policy is critical; it provides me the opportunity to be hands-on and visible within the operating environment, to understand the context, the challenges and the opportunities ahead. I also have the opportunity to identify or initiate specific economic sector initiatives that can result in policy-oriented, operationally relevant and cost-effective responses to development issues such as competitiveness, private sector development, and tax policies.”

Mrs. Buzingo cites the malleable nature of the Kenyan environment, where circumstances vary and where policies are contingent on change, as the main challenge to achieving her working goals. “The main challenge is to make visible changes and a real difference in the lives of the beneficiaries of Bank assistance. To do this, my colleagues and I must make every effort to fully understand the development context of the country in order to ensure that our assistance to Kenya is grounded in the realities of the country. Those realities evolve constantly but we have to stay on top of things.” When these obstacles are hurdled, however, she cites the visible impact of the AfDB’s projects as the most rewarding aspect of her job. “The sense that my contribution can enhance the image of the Bank by the achievements on the ground is a most rewarding feeling indeed.”

Mrs. Buzingo was appointed as Kenya’s Resident Representative in February 2007, and has held numerous positions in the Bank prior to her present position. “In the Bank, I worked in the Country Department respectively as Loans and Program Officer and as an Industrial Economist in the Country Programme and Operational Department, Central Region. I also worked as Principal and Chief Programme Coordinator of the Work Programme of the Boards of Directors of the Bank, and then as the Acting Division Manager of the Boards and Proceedings Division, in the Secretariat General. Before joining the AfDB, I worked as an Investment Officer in a national development bank, as a university lecturer and as an external consultant in some major auditing firms.”

Mrs. Buzingo’s educational attainment is impressive as she holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Gand in Belgium and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. When asked about her professional goals for the future, Mrs. Buzingo replies, “I am excited about the opportunity to learn and grow in this function, to improve my development experience, and to continue to put the expertise gained at the service of development of the African continent.”

About the author