Guang Z. Chen is currently the World Bank’s Country Director for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, based in Pretoria. In this position, he is in charge of the development and implementation of the World Bank’s country partnership programs for these seven countries across southern Africa.
Prior to taking up this post, Chen served as the World Bank’s Country Director for Ethiopia, a position he held since 2011, where he oversaw the implementation of a portfolio of investment projects valued at over $6 billion as well as an extensive program of analytical works and technical assistance.
An economist by training, Chen has more than 20 years of international experience in the field of sustainable development finance and infrastructure management with the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank. Before becoming a country director, he rose through the ranks of the World Bank to serve as a sector manager in various infrastructure sectors including transport, water supply and sanitation, urban development and disaster risk management in Latin American and in South Asia regions. He initially worked as a transport economist in 1997 when he joined the World Bank, then as a task team leader managing tasks for project preparation, implementation support, and economic policy work and technical assistance activities in infrastructure sector. Prior to the World Bank, Chen worked as a project economist in the Asian Development Bank and as a financial market consultant.
In addition, Chen served during 2011-13 as a member of the high-level expert group appointed by the Government of Guangdong Province, China, advising the provincial government in the implementation of its Development Vision 2020 for the Pearl River Delta Area, which was the fastest growing region in the world during 1980-2010. He has also been a regular participant in selected international conferences as a keynote speaker over the last 15 years.
Chen is a Chinese national. He holds a graduate degree in Economics from Harvard University, USA, and an M.A. and B.A. in Economics from Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University, Guangzhou, China.