BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has appointed Themba Bhebhe, a Zimbabwean national, as South Sudan country manager effective October 1, 2021.
Bhebhe joined the pan-African bank in 2002 and prior to his appointment, he was a chief operations officer in the operations committee secretariat and quality assurance department of the Pan-African lender, AfDB said.
He brings to the current 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.
Bhebhe had also served as advisor to the AfDB executive director covering five Southern African countries, including Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia.
At the AfDB, he has served as senior country economist and principal country programme officer for Zambia.
He held other positions, including officer in charge of the Zambia country office and led the opening and operationalisation of the Zambia office.
While working in the Zambia country office, he led policy dialogue, portfolio management and development partners, including regional collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa secretariat.
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“I would like to express my appreciation to president Adesina (Akinwumi) for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve as a country manager for South Sudan,” Bhebhe said.
“I look forward to using my knowledge and experience to support the bank’s engagement and work to improve economic performance, development and resilience of South Sudan.”Adesina said the bank was committed to supporting South Sudan to build strong institutions, inclusive growth and development as well as assure greater resilience.
“With his extensive experience, Bhebhe will lead African Development Bank’s policy dialogue with the government and deliver more effective and impactful operations for South Sudan,” he said.
Bhebhe holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from the Centre for Development Economics at Williams College in the United States of America and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe.