Zimbabwean eyes AfDB top post

By Nqobile Bhebhe
Posted on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:00

The AfDB is expected to hold elections for the presidential post after the expiry of Donald Keberuka’s term.

Being somebody from the region, I am aware of the key challenges that face our region

Sakala, who has been with the AfDB since 1983 and is charge of regional operations, will battle it out with eight other candidates.

He has the backing of his home country and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has endorsed his candidature, since he is the only candidate from the bloc.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced on Tuesday that they are behind Sakala.

“Zondo Sakala is our candidate for the presidency of the African Development Bank,” he said.

With Sakala at the helm of the continental bank, Zimbabwe stands to benefit immensely and he has already hinted that.

The southern African country owes foreign creditors, the AfDB, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, $9 billion, which has prevented it from accessing fresh loans required to rebuild roads, schools and hospitals.

Sakala might assist Zimbabwe clear part of its debt.

He is of the view that his elevation will unlock funding for the government’s economic blueprint – the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

“Being somebody from the region, I am aware of the key challenges that face our region,” he said.

“I think it will be a golden opportunity to bring in the efforts and the resources of the African Development Bank to our region.

“Each country has its own priorities. In Zimbabwe we have ZimAsset. We will be looking at how best we can assist the Zimbabwean government and the Zimbabwean people to realise the ambition of ZimAsset,” he told reporters on Tuesday at a joint press briefing with Chinamasa.

In this capacity, Sakala oversees the operations complex, whose main mandate revolves around dialogue and programming of AfDB’s operations in the regional member countries; policies and operational resources; procurement and fiduciary services; and partnerships and cooperation.

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