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World Bank Group Appoints New Country Manager for South Sudan

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The World Bank Group has appointed Mr. Firas Raad as the new Country Manager for South Sudan effective August 1, 2021. Mr. Raad will be leading an expanding country program focused on delivering project financing and analytical services in support of South Sudan’s development priorities.

The World Bank Group’s current portfolio in the country consists of six engagements with a total financing volume of $USD 375 million in commitments.

Under his tenure, the World Bank Group will continue to work closely with the Government of South Sudan, development partners, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders with the goal of improving development outcomes for the people of South Sudan, particularly in the areas of economic growth, governance, agri-business, human capital development, and resilience.

Mr. Raad, a Jordanian national, has extensive experience in the areas of economic and human development and has worked with the World Bank Group, the United Nations, and the Jordanian government over the past 27 years. He joined the World Bank in 2002 as a Health Policy Specialist and has since held various technical and management positions in the Middle East and North Africa region and East Asia and Pacific Region. His most recent management assignment was serving as Country Manager for Malaysia where he led the World Bank Group Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub based in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am honored to take on this new role as Country Manager for South Sudan at an important time in the country’s history and development journey. Over the last three years, the World Bank Group has endeavored to support the development gains achieved by the country since the signing of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement,” said Firas Raad, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan. “Going forward, we aim to support the Government of South Sudan in consolidating these gains and making even greater progress towards improving the lives and livelihoods of the South Sudanese people. Naturally, much of our effort will hinge crucially on the continued preservation of peace and stability in the country.

The World Bank Group has been a long-standing development partner of South Sudan, stretching back to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. In the next two years, the World Bank Group will be scaling up its engagements along the three main pillars of work: (i) laying the ground for institution- building; (ii) supporting basic service delivery; and (iii) building resilience and livelihood opportunities. These engagements will be financed through budgetary resources made available by the International Development Association of the World Bank Group.

Mr. Raad will be based in Juba and succeeds Husam Abudagga who recently completed his two-year term as Country Manager for South Sudan

Appointments

Union Bank Announces the Appointment of Aisha Abubakar as Independent Non-Executive Director

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Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“Union Bank”) has announced a change to the membership of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Ms. Aisha Abubakar as an Independent Non-Executive Director effective 9th September 2021, following the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ms. Abubakar joins the Board of Union Bank following her tenure as Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development from 2018 to 2019. Prior to this, she also served as the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment between 2015 and 2018. At the start of her career, Ms. Abubakar worked at Continental Merchant Bank Ltd., African Development Bank and African International Bank.

She is an accomplished public sector administrator with over three decades of professional experience in Public Service and Pension Administration, Investment Banking, SME Finance/Rural Enterprise Development and Micro-Credit Administration.

Ms. Abubakar is a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA-UK), and the President of the International Experts Consultants (IEC-UK).

Commenting on the addition to the Board, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey, Union Bank’s Board Chair said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. She brings many years of robust experience which will be invaluable in supporting our efforts to steer the Bank forward and deliver on our strategic objectives.”

Also commenting, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo said: “I am pleased to welcome our new Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. We look forward to drawing from her wealth of experience and fresh perspectives as we continue to execute our vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.”

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Appointments

Dangote Cement Appoints Mr. Philip Mathew as Deputy Group MD/CEO

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Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, has appointed Mr. Philip Mathew as the Deputy Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from September 15, 2021.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Edward Imoedemhe, Deputy Company Secretary, Dangote Cement Plc.

According to the manufacturer, “Mr. Mathew is a professional with 34 years of working experience in large global and regional cement industries and has been involved in project management from feasibility to commissioning and stabilisation.

“He has worked with multicultural teams in different countries and held several roles, including Process Engineer, Optimisation Manager, Plant Manager, Technical Director, Director Performance and Progress, Chief Manufacturing Officer, and recently, Head of Cement Excellence Manufacturing for the AsiaPacific region; defining the strategic goals and ambitions for cement manufacturing at regional level for a global cement company.”

 

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Appointments

GCR Ratings Appoints Mr. John Kibebo CPA-K to its Kenyan Office

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GCR Ratings (“GCR”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. John Kibebo CPA-K as a Credit Rating Analyst. John will be based full-time in our Kenyan office as an integral part of the GCR East Africa team as GCR continues to grow its presence in the region.

John has over 8 years’ experience conducting business and financial analysis. He joins GCR from Metropol Corporation Limited where he worked for over 6 years and progressed to become the Head of their Analysis department. Prior to his time at Metropol, John worked as an Accountant for Kenya Woman Microfinance Bank and as a Banking Consultant for Kenya Commercial Bank.

John is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA-K), with a B-Comm in Finance from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology and an Msc. in Finance from The University of Nairobi.

In announcing the appointment, Sylvia Chahonyo, Managing Director of GCR East Africa, said, “Following a thorough and rigorous search process we are delighted that John has agreed to take up the position of Credit Rating Analyst in Kenya. He has significant experience and expertise, and I am pleased that we have been able to attract someone of his caliber and track record.

I have no doubt that John’s appointment, in a permanent capacity based at GCR in Nairobi, will facilitate a deeper entrenchment of GCR’s presence and portfolio of credit ratings across Kenya and the region. His appointment also reinforces GCR’s ongoing commitment to investment and capital markets development in East Africa, and our role as a source of timely, accurate, and market leading credit opinions.”

Upon his appointment, Mr. Kibebo said, “I am delighted to join GCR Ratings and its growing analytical team of 45+ analysts spread across Africa. GCR has a stronghold in the African credit ratings market thanks to its local footprint. I am looking forward to working with issuers across the East-African market. Increasing access to, and use of, credit ratings in the region is a key element of a functioning capital market which, I believe, will help companies get greater access to funding, and investors to understand the risks associated to those entities which can assist in enhancing sustainable growth outcomes in East Africa.”

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