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State of the Africa Region: Boosting Productivity in Africa: The Role of Human Capital

October 13, 2018

Bali, Indonesia and Online

  • How can Africa capitalize on its human potential to ramp up productivity and close large and persistent gaps in income per capita relative to advanced countries?

    Joined by some of the region’s leading thinkers and policy makers, World Bank Vice President for Africa Hafez Ghanem will begin the discussion with a keynote address about the role of a skilled and knowledgeable population in boosting productivity. Building on the forthcoming Africa’s Pulse report, the State of the Africa Region also provides an opportunity to reflect on the main trends shaping the region’s economic development, as well as key challenges and opportunities facing the region amid a weak and volatile economic environment.

    Following the keynote, the discussion continues in three segments; a fireside chat between Gugulethu Mfupi, Senior Anchor, CNBC Africa and World Bank Chief Economist Albert Zeufack, followed by a panel discussion, and finally, a Q&A with an audience of delegates from across the continent, development partners, journalists and social media.

    The State of the Africa Region is the World Bank Africa’s premier event during the World Bank-IMF Spring and Annual Meetings. 

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    Hafez Ghanem

    Vice President of the World Bank for Africa

    Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Vice President of the World Bank for Africa since July 1, 2018. A development expert with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Ghanem leads an active regional portfolio consisting of over 600 projects totaling more than $71 billion.

    Under his leadership, the World Bank supports inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change, and promote regional integration. Intensifying assistance for fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting gender equality, and providing economic opportunities for youth are core to his vision for the Africa Region.

    Prior to his appointment as Vice President for Africa, Dr. Ghanem served as Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa from 2015 to 2018, overseeing the World Bank’s engagement with 20 countries. Leading up to this, he was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program leading the Arab economies project, focused on the impact of political transition on Arab economic development.

    Between 2007 and 2012, he served as the Assistant Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He was responsible for the Economic and Social Development Department and the FAO’s analytical work on agricultural economics and food security, trade and markets, gender and equity, and statistics. In this role, he and his counterpart at the OECD coordinated the preparation of the International Organizations’ recommendations to the 2011 G20 meeting on how to respond to the global food crisis.  He also led the reforms of the Committee on World Food Security to make it more inclusive and responsive to country needs.

    Dr. Ghanem began his career at the World Bank in 1983 as a Young Professional. Over the span of 24 years (1983-2007), he worked on Bank operations and initiatives in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. His previous positions at the World Bank include: Country Director for Nigeria where he led a multinational team of more than 100 professionals, managing the Bank’s loan portfolio of some $1.5 billion; Country Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles; and Sector Leader for Public Economics and Trade Policy in the Europe and Central Asia Region.

    He has many publications in professional journals and was a member of the core team that produced the World Bank’s 1995 World Development Report.

    He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis. He is fluent in Arabic, English and French.


    Gugulethu Mfuphi

    Senior Anchor, CNBC Africa

    Gugulethu Mfuphi is a well-versed broadcast journalist, specializing in financial markets, economic data and current affairs issues. She is a regular speaker and moderator for industry analysts, political leaders and C-suite executives from across the African continent. Mfuphi is a Senior Anchor on CNBC Africa and presenter of Kaya FM’s prime time business show, Kaya Bizz. She also serves as a Conference Chair, Panel Discussion Moderator and Program Director, at various industry gatherings that impact the business and investment landscape. She is a regular participant of events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and in Africa, and moderator for high level conferences.

    Follow Gugulethu Mfuphi on Twitter


    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.


    Yvonne Mburu

    Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nexakili

    Yvonne Mburu is a scientist and consultant with more than 15 years of experience in scientific and health research. She is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nexakili, a professional network that connects the global community of African and African-diaspora health professionals, scientists and technologists. Nexakili offers a global platform for African professionals to transfer knowledge and collaborate across regions, sectors and disciplines with other professionals all over the world.

    Mburu began her academic career in Canada where she pursued undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry before moving to the United States for her doctoral studies in immunology. Here she discovered a passion for cancer immunology. Upon completion of her doctorate, she won the inaugural Lloyd J. Old Memorial Award and a CRI-Irvington Fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute to undertake her postdoctoral research at the Curie Institute in Paris on the immunotherapy of cancer.

    Over her scientific career, Mburu has been passionate about the immune system and its dysfunction in diseases such as cancer. Naturally, her dynamic personality and African roots inspired her to seek a deeper engagement with the African continent and find a channel to transfer her skills back to her homeland. This spark fueled the creation of Nexakili – which aims to be the #1 platform linking professionals in Africa and its diaspora. Highly optimistic about the digital revolution and the future that it rends possible, Yvonne is particularly interested in how digital technologies can harness the skills of African professionals worldwide and spur interdisciplinary collaborations. She is keen on mobilizing the human capital of the African diaspora to accelerate the availability of innovative research in Africa and contribute more effectively to achieving the health and science objectives of the continent. 

    Yvonne is a Young Leader of the AfricaFrance Foundation and an UNLEASH Global Talent being among the world’s best talents working on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In August 2017, she was appointed by the French President Emmanuel Macron to join his Presidential Council for Africa, a consultative body that works towards the transformation of the relationship between France and Africa and the strengthening of links between the civil societies of these regions.

    Follow Yvonne Mburu on LinkedIn and Twitter: @ymscientist | @nexakili


    Mama Kanny Diallo

    Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Guinea

    Kanny Diallo was appointed as the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation in January 2016. Before her appointment, she served as the manager in chief of the capacities development for the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) African Institute for Development, from 2005-2015.  From 1995 to 2005, she was the main economist for AfDB’s Operations Department for the North (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Libya), and held several positions in various departments of the same institution from 1986-1994, including top economist and program manager.

    Diallo began her career in 1981 as a technical assistant to the Board of Directors and the department for Africa of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. She was also a research assistant within the external debt division of the World Bank’s projections and macroeconomic analysis in Washington, DC from 1985 to 1986.

    She holds a post-graduate diploma in Finance and International Relations and Development from the American University, and a master’s degree in economics with a focus on International Relations and Development, from the University of Paris X-Nanterre. As part of her post-graduate training, she obtained a certificate in Financial Programming from the IMF Institute (2004), a certificate in Politics, Institutional Reform and Sustainable Development of the Multilateral African Institute (1999), and a certificate in Macroeconomic Management from the Harvard Institute for International Development.


    Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh

    Minister of Finance, Somalia

    Dr. Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh is the current Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Somalia. He was successfully elected as a Member of the Somalia Federal Parliament in February 2017 and appointed to his Ministerial post in March by H.E. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire. During the 2017 elections, Dr. Beileh served as the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee that elected the Speaker of the National Assembly and his two Deputies. Following this, he was duly elected to lead the Parliamentary Committee that oversaw the historic Presidential election.

    Dr. Beileh has 30 years of finance and development experience in Africa with the African Development Bank of which 17 years have been in senior management and leadership roles. This allowed him to directly and significantly contribute to the development of the Bank’s policies, programs, strategies and Africa’s economic future through these actions.

    Dr. Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh served as Somalia’s Foreign Minister from January 2014 to February 2015 and in this period he oversaw the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral relations with established and new partner nations, agencies and organisations including the United Nations, African Union, European Union and Arab League. Dr. Beileh also set the vision for the first national Cabinet adopted Foreign Policy which today guides Somali Foreign Policy.

    Dr. Beileh has a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and enjoyed a successful academic career as an assistant professor in Finance at both Tennessee State University in the USA and King Saud University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    Dr. Beileh speaks English, Arabic and French alongside his native language of Somali.

    Follow Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh on Twitter



  • Bali and GMT Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018
  • Bali Time: 9:00am to 10:30am WITA
  • GMT Time: 1:00am to 2:30am GMT
  • Washington Date: Friday, October 12, 2018
  • Washington Time: 9pm to 10:30pm
  • Where: Westin – BICC, Nusantara 1/2, Nusa Dua complex, Bali, Indonesia
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