Leader Profile: Donald Kaberuka, President of the AfDB

By FWU Newsletter22 September 2005

Donald Kaberuka is the 7th elected President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group. He took office in September 2005.The AfDB, created in 1964, was established to promote the economic development and social progress of forty-three regional member countries. The President of the AfDB serves for a five-year term. As President of the Bank Group, Donald chairs the Boards of the AfDB and the African Development Fund, the soft loan arm of the Group. In taking up office Donald said, "The ADB must strive to become a knowledge institution, a first point of call for economic development issues on the continent". He outlined his vision for the future development of the continent and highlighted the need to advance in crucial areas to create an economic enabling environment, political and economic stability, good governance, and combat corruption as well as the creation of a predictable policy environment. Moving African countries away from dependency on aid is another focus of the Bank's work. "Building our capacity to trade, reducing costs, risks of doing business in Africa as well as expanding our markets and attracting private investment are the only lasting solutions", he said.Donald Kaberuka aims to, working in coordination with partner organizations, find ways to limit the negative impact of external shocks such as oil price rises and believes that supporting the adjustment of African nations to a liberalized global market is essential for sustainable development. Forging stronger links with the African Union and its institutions is also on the agenda for Donald's coming term in office. This has particular relevance in relation to the AfDB's work in conflict-affected areas. "It will be essential to enhance the work of the Bank in the process of post conflict reconstruction and fragile states. In this way we will be reinforcing the efforts of the African Union in conflict resolution and making our continent safe for investment and creating stakeholders economies", he emphasized. A Rwandan national, Donald studied as an undergraduate at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania before moving to the UK, where he gained an MPhil in Development Studies from East Anglia University and a PhD in Economics from Glasgow University. Donald worked in banking and finance for twelve years before joining the Rwandan Government as Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, where he is widely acknowledged as the principal architect of the successful post-war reconstruction and economic reform program. He has also worked as Governor for Rwanda at the World Bank, and in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank. He is fluent in English, French and Swahili.

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