The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has appointed Mr. Abebe Selassie as the new director African Department. He succeeded a Liberian, Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, whose departure was announced last June.
The new director, according to a statement by the Managing Director of IMF, Ms Christine Lagarde, will coordinate activities in Nigeria, Ghana and other country in the sub- Sahara Africa.
According to the statement, Sayeh, an economist, began her appointment as the director of the African Department at the International Monetary Fund on July 14, 2008 till June this year.
The statement quoted the IMF Managing Director, Ms. Christine Lagarde, as speaking glowingly about the new appointee from Ethiopia. She explained: “Abebe 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.
“Having had the opportunity to work with Abebe over the last five years, I have been struck by his sound judgment, integrity, and commitment to teamwork.” The statement added that 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 capacities in countries such as Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Recently, he oversaw the IMF’s effort to assist the three Ebola-stricken countries.
Also, Selassie 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 in 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 programme and policy design issues.
Before joining the IMF, Selassie worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit, specialising in sovereign credit risk issues, and then for the Ethiopian government as Principal Economist in the Office of the President.
He holds a B.A. 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.
Abebe will bring a unique blend of extensive knowledge and experience to his new position as Director of the African Department,” Ms. Lagarde said.