The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, effective 1st July 2021.
Dr. Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.
Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 U.S. government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty. She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene.
A career member of the senior foreign service at USAID, Dunford previously served as Director of USAID’s Mission in Nepal, leading the U.S. government’s health, education, agriculture and environment programs as well as its contribution to Nepal’s massive earthquake recovery and reconstruction effort. She also worked in Afghanistan as Agriculture and Alternative Livelihoods Program Director, USAID/Afghanistan, where she directed agriculture, resilience and emergency food assistance programs.
Dunford has also served in Ethiopia as Director, Office of Assets and Livelihoods, USAID/Ethiopia, where she led government officials, scholars, donors and NGOs, to craft the program, now a model used worldwide to map how emergency and development operations can collaborate to build communities’ resilience to recurrent crises.Dunford also held a number of roles in Washington, including Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in the Bureau for Food Security and Senior Development Advisor to the Secretary of State’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dr. Dunford also worked as Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Operating Officer and as Regional Development Advisor, East Africa, USAID/Washington.
Commenting on her appointment, Dunford said: “I am excited to join the African Development Bank Group and be part of the senior management team. I am passionate about the Bank’s development agenda that has attracted global attention as bold and innovative for accelerating Africa’s development. I am honored to be part of the team to further achieve social and economic transformation on the continent”.
President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said, “I am delighted to appoint Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development. Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries. With over 20 years experience working and delivering programs globally with a focus in Africa, she brings hands-on leadership and drive that will further accelerate our work to deliver greater development impacts”.
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Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (“FHAN”) elects Dr. Sonnie Babatunde Ayere as President
Founder & GCEO, DLM Capital Group, Dr. Sonnie Babatunde Ayere has been elected as the President of the Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (“FHAN”).
He was elected unopposed on the 10th of November 2023.
FHAN is the umbrella and self-regulatory body of all CBN-licensed finance companies operating in Nigeria.
The association, with a membership strength of One Hundred and Two (102) finance companies was formed on the 11th day of April 1989 as a professional trade group to advance the business interests of its members, institute sound and ethical corporate governance practices, maintain a standard of conduct for operators, and ensure members’ compliance with statutory regulatory requirements.
Dr. Ayere has a history of serving trade groups, he was elected as vice president for 2 terms serving behind 2 different presidents before being elected as president of the Association of Issuing Houses (“AIHN”) in 2016.
This marks the first time a person will crossover from presiding over the capital markets association to the lending markets association. Before founding DLM Capital Group, Dr. Ayere used his national service skills for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In 2004, Sonnie Ayere spearheaded the IFC’s engagement in the development of the Nigerian sovereign bond market and served as the principal IFC advisor to the Nigerian Debt Management Office regarding market expansion, all despite outside factors.
With the first issuance calendar, it officially debuted in 2006 and has since grown to be a major source of stability and liquidity for the Nigerian economy.
As of September 2023, the FGN Bond market had a turnover of N23.3 trillion. Following his nomination by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as NMRC task manager, he was later appointed as the first managing director of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC).
In 2006, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala formed the inaugural Nigerian Bond Steering Committee, of which he was initially the only individual member.
In his career to date, Mr. Ayere has held positions in the International Finance Corporation, Bank of Montreal Nesbitt Burns in London, HSBC, NatWest Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and United Capital.
He has provided advice and mediated difficult assignments for multiple businesses and governments across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Zach Adedeji Confirmed as FIRS Chairman, Pledges Tax System Reforms
The Senate has confirmed Zach Adedeji as the new Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) following President Bola Tinubu’s request for a swift confirmation.
Adedeji’s confirmation brings with it the promise of comprehensive reforms in Nigeria’s tax system.
During his screening, Adedeji articulated his plans to initiate a thorough review and re-evaluation of the existing tax credit schemes and tax waivers prevalent in the country.
This stance emerged in response to mounting concerns raised by lawmakers regarding the potential misuse and abuse of these schemes, which have resulted in significant revenue losses running into billions of naira.
Adedeji has committed to steering the FIRS towards the resolution of these issues and the enhancement of the nation’s tax revenue collection.
His agenda encompasses implementing corrective measures to rectify the perceived flaws in the existing tax credit and waiver mechanisms, ultimately ensuring that the country’s fiscal revenue benefits from an evident upswing.
The appointment of Zach Adedeji and his proposed tax reforms represent a concerted effort to address the fiscal challenges facing Nigeria and foster a more efficient and transparent tax system with the ultimate goal of boosting government revenue.
Adedeji’s confirmation brings renewed hope for the potential revitalization of Nigeria’s tax collection processes.
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