THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has appointed Zimbabwean national Themba Bhebhe as the country manager designate for South Sudan effective October 1, 2021.
Mr Bhebhe who joined the pan-African bank in 2002, prior to his appointment, was the chief operations officer in the operations committee secretariat and quality assurance department.
“He brings to this 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 in a statement.
The AfDB said Mr Bhebhe also served as advisor to the executive director covering five southern Africa countries including Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Bhebhe thanked AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina for his confidence in him and the opportunity to serve as a Country manager for South Sudan.
“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,” he said.
Mr Bhebhe holds a Masters Degree in Development Economics from the Centre for Development Economics Williams College in the United States of America, (1998), and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe (1990).
Adesina said the bank was committed to supporting South Sudan to build strong institutions, inclusive growth and development and assure greater resilience.
“With his extensive experience, Mr Bhebhe will lead African Development Bank’s policy dialogue with the government and deliver more effective and impactful operations for South Sudan,” he said.
At the AfDB, Mr Bhebhe served as senior country economist and principal country programme officer for Zambia, and chief operations officer in the bank’s Department of Operations Committee and Quality assurance.
He held other senior positions including officer in charge of the Zambia country office and led the opening and operationalisation of the Zambian country office.
“While working in the Zambia country office, he led policy development finance coordination with other development partners including regional collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat.”
Currently the AfDB is financing various projects in Zimbabwe and a number of these are portfolios of projects financed under the ZimFund.