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The State of the Africa Region: Skills for Success in a Transforming Africa

October 14, 2017

MC C1-250 (MC Café), World Bank Group Headquarters

  • As the Africa region’s premier event at the World Bank–IMF Annual and Spring Meetings, the State of the Africa Region seminar is an opportunity to reflect on the main trends shaping economic development on the African continent. Attended by leading thinkers and policy makers, discussions focus on the key challenges and opportunities facing Africa.

    This year’s seminar has a special focus on the challenges of improving educational and labor force skills for 21st century Africa by exploring how Sub-Saharan African countries can bring about system-wide change to ensure greater efficiency in the investments being made in skills-building, and better outcomes for the region’s rapidly growing working-age population. 

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    Lerato Mbele

    Presenter of Africa Business Report on BBC World News

    Lerato joined the BBC in 2012 as a presenter of the flagship breakfast radio program Newsday on the BBC World Service. Prior to that, she served as a senior business anchor for CNBC Africa when it launched in 2007. She hosted a variety of business-focused programming and specials, including presidential debates and the live CNBC Africa Debate at the World Economic Forum in Africa in 2009. Lerato began her journalism career in 1999 at South Africa's state-owned broadcaster The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). She eventually served as an anchor for the channel's daily news show News at 10 and also fronted the weekly show The Ambassadors. Lerato has interviewed notable political figures, including Nobel Peace Prize laureates Kofi Annan, Wangari Maathai and F.W de Klerk, and has also interviewed Bill Gates, Olusegun Obansanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Uhuru Kenyatta. Lerato is a Chevening Scholar and holds an MSc degree in Development Studies from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.


    Makhtar Diop

    World Bank's Vice President for the Africa Region

    Under his leadership, the World Bank committed $9.4 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa in FY 2016 to help tackle development challenges such as increasing food security and agricultural productivity; improving access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, creating economic opportunities for Africa’s youth; and responding quickly and effectively to emergency situations such as the recent Ebola epidemic. Before taking up this position, Diop was World Bank Country Director for Brazil, based in Brasilia, between January 2009 and April 2012; he previously held the positions of Director of Strategy and Operations, and Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure, both in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Between 2002 and 2005, Mr. Diop was the Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia, based in Nairobi. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Diop worked at the International Monetary Fund, focusing on the Central African Republic. He also served as Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal. In 2014, Jeune Afrique named him "one of the 50 most influential Africans."


    Albert Zeufack

    World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region

    Albert Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region. He joined the World Bank in 1997 as a research economist in the macroeconomics division of the Research Department. Since then, he has held several positions in the East Asia and Pacific region, as well as in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice with a particular focus on Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Mr. Zeufack’s main research interest is the micro-foundations of macroeconomics. Prior to his appointment as Chief Economist, he was Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice and leader of the World Bank-wide Community of Practice for the Management of Natural Resources Rents, a group interested in sovereign wealth, fiscal rules, public spending patterns, and macro-modeling in natural resource-rich economies. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Zeufack taught economics and applied econometrics at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, where he received his Ph.D. in economics. He holds a master’s degree in economic analysis and policy from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon.


    Sidi Ould Tah

    Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)

    Sidi Ould Tah, Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), was appointed in June 2015. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Mauritanian Minister of Economic Affairs and Development. He began his career in the Mauritanian Bank for Development and Trade, then transitioned to the Arab Agency for Investment and Agricultural Development based in Khartoum before joining the Islamic Development Bank Group. Mr. Ould Tah holds a Ph.D. in economics from Nice-Sophia-Antipolis University and a master’s degree in economics from Paris VII University. He has a post-graduate degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Nouakchott University in Mauritania.


    Rosine Sori-Coulibaly

    Minister of Economy, Finance, and Development for Burkina Faso

    Rosine Sori-Coulibaly was named the Minister of Economy, Finance, and Development for Burkina Faso in January 2016. Prior to this, she has held positions in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, the Social and Economic Council, and lectured at Burkina’s National School of Administration. In 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Sori-Coulibaly as Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Office in Burundi and United Nations Resident Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for Burundi. She also served the United Nations in various capacities in Benin, Togo, and Mauritania. Sori-Coulibaly holds a master's degree in development economics from Senegal’s Cheikh Anta Diop University and a postgraduate degree from the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning.


    Sidy Ndao

    Founder of SenEcole and the youth Pan-African Robotics Competition

    Sidy Ndao, an avid advocate for education issues in Africa, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Before joining UNL in 2012, Ndao worked for two years as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Chemical Engineering Department and the Institute of Soldier Nanotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, MA. Ndao is the founder of SenEcole, an organization whose goal is to promote STEM education for the sustainable development of Africa. A strong believer in introducing STEM education early on in children’s education, he founded the youth Pan-African Robotics Competition. Ndao recently created the Dakar American University of Science & Technology (DAUST) in Senegal. DAUST provides instruction and research opportunities for undergraduates and graduates in the fields of engineering and technology to foster the development of technological solutions that address Africa’s societal needs and challenges.


  • When: Saturday, October 14, 2017
  • Time: 10:00am-11:30am
  • Where: MC C1-250 (MC Café), World Bank Group Headquarters
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