World Bank Introduces New Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic

September 18, 2014

Bishkek, September 18, 2014 – World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha,  has introduced to Kyrgyz authorities the newly appointed Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Jean-Michel Happi.

On September 17-18, Mr. Jha and Mr. Happi held a number of meetings with members of the Kyrgyz Government, including Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev, First Vice Prime Minister Valery Dil, Chairperson of the National Bank Mr. Tolkunbek Abdygulov, Minister of Economy Mr. Temir Sariev, and Minister of Energy and Industry Mr. Osmonbek Artykbaev.

We are pleased to introduce Mr. Happi,  who brings to this position a unique combination of keen understanding of development issues, including in public and private sectors, and an impressive track record of developing World Bank assistance strategies to support country needs”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia. “Mr. Happi will focus on furthering the policy dialogue with the Kyrgyz Government, civil society and development partners to strengthen country-led development processes, including in the areas of governance, sustainable energy, public financial management, and private sector development. He will also lead the Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in addressing the current energy crisis as well as broader challenges in the energy sector.

Mr. Happi, a Cameroonian national, joined the World Bank Group in 1993 and since then worked across many countries in South Asia, Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and Middle East, including Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iraq. Before moving to the Kyrgyz Republic, he served as Country Manager for Armenia (2010-2014). Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Mr. Happi worked as economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.

During his previous work assignments, Mr. Happi worked on issues of competition policy, privatization, governance and anti-corruption, infrastructure development and utility sector reform. He has also been involved with Bank-wide efforts to mobilize concessional financing for low-income countries, and in helping develop Bank-country partnership strategies.

Mr. Happi is a graduate from the French School of Economics (Ecole Nationale de Statistique et de l’Administration Economique) and holds Post-Masters degrees in Applied Mathematics from Paris-6 University.

Mr. Happi assumed  his duties on September 1, 2014 and will be based in Bishkek.

The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to reduce poverty, promote economic growth and shared prosperity. 45 percent of the World Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic is in the form of grants. The other 55 percent is in highly concessional credits with no interest, and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The Bank’s financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to over US$1 billion, in the form of grants and highly concessional credits.

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