IMF names new Director for Africa

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A new director in charge of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s African Department was named on Thursday by the Managing Director, Christine Lagarde.

He is Abebe Aemro Selassie, who succeeds Antoinette Sayeh whose departure was announced recently.

Mr. Selassie is expected to assume work in his new capacity on September 19, 2016.

A statement on Thursday said “Abe brings a profound understanding of the challenges facing Africa, having worked closely with policymakers from across the region for much of his career.

“His proven ability to provide intellectual leadership, track record of building collaborative relationships, analytical depth, and warm collegiality make him ideally placed to lead the IMF’s work with our membership in sub-Saharan Africa” the statement said.

Ms. Lagarde said having had the opportunity to work with Mr. Selassie over the last five years, she had been struck by his sound judgement, integrity, and commitment to teamwork.

Mr. Selassie’s career has spanned the private sector, government, and the IMF. During his time in the IMF’s African Department, he was senior resident representative in Uganda, served as mission chief for South Africa, led work on the Regional Economic Outlook, and worked in various roles on countries ranging from Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, and Kenya, to Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Most recently, Mr. Selassie oversaw the IMF’s effort to assist the three Ebola-stricken countries.

Mr. Selassie also brings extensive operational and policy experience from his assignments in other IMF departments, including the Strategy, Policy and Review Department and the European Department.

He worked on Turkey and Poland between 1999 and 2003, and was Assistant Director and mission chief for Portugal during the Eurozone crisis.

He has also worked on low-income country and emerging-market program and policy design issues.

Before joining the IMF, Mr. Selassie worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit, specializing in sovereign credit risk issues, and then for the Ethiopian government as Principal Economist in the Office of the President.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from City of London Polytechnic and a Masters in Economic History from London School of Economics.

“The IMF remains deeply committed to serving our members in Africa. Abe will bring a unique blend of extensive knowledge and experience to his new position as Director of the African Department,” Ms. Lagarde said.

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