AfDB appoints new country manager for South Sudan

AfDB appoints new country manager for South Sudan
Themba Bhebhe, the new African Development Bank Country Manager for South Sudan (photo credit: The Herald)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has appointed Zimbabwean technocrat Themba Bhebhe as the Country Manager for South Sudan effective October 1, 2021.

Bhebhe who joined the bank in 2002 was the Chief Operation Officer in the department of operation Committee Secretariat and Quality Assurance before the appointment. 

In a statement seen by The City Review, Bhebhe commented on his appointment saying he has the confidence and opportunity to work as the country manager for South Sudan.

“I will be using my experience and knowledge to support the bank engagement and work to improve economic performance and development of South Sudan,” said Bhebhe, as reported by the Zimbabwean state-owned daily, The Herald. 

“He brings to his role 30 years of experience including 21 years within the AfDB in-country programming, project design, portfolio management, economic policy formulation and analysis and operations review,’’ the bank said on his suitability. 

Bhebhe holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from the Centre for Development Economics William College in the United States of America (1998) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe in (1990).

The President of African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said the bank was committed to supporting South Sudan to build strong institutions and inclusive growth and development    

Confidence him

He said Bhebhe will lead the bank policy dialogue with the government and deliver more effective and impactful operations for South Sudan.

In 2020, the African Development Bank Group had appointed Nourredine Lafhel as the acting chief risk officer for South Sudan.

Mr Lafhel, a Canadian, is currently the sovereign credit and market risk division manager in the directorate of the group risk management function of the African Development Bank Group.

ADB is one of South Sudan’s leading development partners in the infrastructure, mining and petroleum industries.

An experienced risk management professional, Lafhel has more than 20 years of experience in finance and risk management. He is a proven leader in the development of innovative solutions and strategies for balance sheet optimization, capital adequacy and market risk management. He has worked in several continents including North America, the Middle East and Africa.

In his role as division manager, Lafhel has had extensive experience in reviewing market risk, sovereign portfolio reports, sovereign credit policy, and the bank’s credit policy and graduation.

He has been instrumental in defining the bank’s economic capital requirements for market, credit and operational risk. In particular, Lafhel was part of the team that developed the Room to Run initiative – the bank’s innovative SSP290 billion ($1 billion) synthetic securitization deal.

Before joining the bank, Lafhel held senior treasury and credit risk roles at S&P Global Ratings as Director, Sovereign and International Public Finance Rating and as senior director, Credit Risk Management & Rating at Acreditus, in the United Arab Emirates.