Who will succeed Donald Kaberuka?

Clockwise from top to bottom: Ato Sufian Ahmed, Akinwumi Adesina, Jalloul Ayed and Samura Kamara, four of the seven candidates that are vying for the African Development Bank presidency. Photos by: sanitation water, World Economic Forum, Guillaume Paumier and The Commonwealth

The African Development Bank is in for a number of changes. Later this year, the financing institution is moving back to Abidjan, Ivory Coast; next year, it is electing a new president.

And as early as now, a number of top-level finance officials in the region have announced their interest in running for the position, or have been floated as a potential candidate.

Incumbent President Donald Kaberuka's second term in office ends in May 2015. At AfDB and several other multilateral development banks, a person in such a position typically serves for two, five-year terms at most.

Here are some of the people who may be vying as Kaberuka’s successor:

     •   Akinwumi Adesina, agriculture and rural development minister of Nigeria.

     •   Ato Sufian Ahmed, finance and economic development minister of Ethiopia.

     •   Birama Boubacar Sidibe, vice president of operations at the Islamic Development Bank.

     •   Jalloul Ayed, economist and former finance minister of Tunisia.

     •   Kordje Bedoumra, finance minister of Chad and former vice president of corporate
         services at AfDB.

     •   Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice president at AfDB.

     •   Samura Kamara, foreign minister of Sierra Leone.

The next president — whoever that may be — has huge shoes to fill. Kaberuka was able to elevate the bank's role in Africa as a leading development institution during his term, introduced procurement reforms, and boosted transparency at the bank.

That said, there are some pressing challenges. Aside from moving back to Abidjan in November after more than a decade of staying in Tunis, AfDB faces competition for influence in Africa from emerging players like China, although the two agreed to collaborate recently with the launch of the China-AfDB fund last month at the bank's annual meetings in Rwanda.

Do you agree with this list of possible candidates? Who else do you think should be on it?

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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