New World Bank boss for Southern Africa

via New World Bank boss for Southern Africa – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 27, 2015

THE World Bank has appointed a Chinese national, Guang Chen, as country director for seven Southern African countries including Zimbabwe.

Chen, who began work on July 1 and is based in Pretoria, will oversee South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Previously Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi were under the directorship of Kundhavi Kadiresan. Malawi now falls under the stewardship of Bella Bird who is also in charge of Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan

Prior to taking up this post, Chen served as the World Bank’s country director for Ethiopia, a position he held since 2011, where he oversaw the implementation of a portfolio of investment and trust fund projects valued at over $6 billion, as well as a robust programme of analytical works and technical assistance, the bank said in a statement.

Chen has over 20 years of international experience in the field of sustainable development finance and infrastructure management with the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank.

Zimbabwe owes the World Bank over $1 billion that has resulted in the country failing to access cheap financing.

However, the World Bank has teamed up with other donors to set up the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (Zimref), a $100 million fund that is set to support the implementation of the economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

Zimref will expand the bank’s support to include investment projects, and to channel some financing directly through government systems.