Ahmed Zayed-Member of the African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB) Board of Directors representing Egypt and Djibouti- has assumed the position of Dean of the AfDB Group Board of Directors until 2024.
This comes in line with Egypt assuming Chairmanship of the Bank Group’s Board of Governors for one year, after the selection of the city of Sharm ElSheikh to host the Bank’s Annual Meetings in May 2023.
Zayed has stated that “he looks forwards to working closely with his colleagues at the Bank’s Board of Directors who represent 81 countries to continue to implement achievements on the ground, especially that the AfDB is the only African institution with a AAA rating and has a large capacity to provide and mobilize development financing in light of its accumulated experience in all African countries and all sectors”. He further added that Egypt has always emphasized in various international forums the importance of achieving tangible progress in the continent’s development agenda, pointing to the crucial and key role of the Bank in providing the necessary financing instruments and mechanisms to implement infrastructure and regional integration projects.
During his speech at the occasion of celebrating those Board members whose tenures at the Bank have ended, Zayed acclaimed the exemplary performance of the Bank’s Boards during the period 2018-2021 given that such period, and albeit the regional and global challenges it entailed, has witnessed a number of unprecedented achievements in the African Bank’s history. These included the approval of the Bank’s historical capital increase of 125% (whose talks were concluded in Sharm ElSheikh in September 2019) and the success of the 15th Replenishment of the African Development Fund resources (which are entirely dedicated to providing concessional financing, grants and technical assistance to Africa’s low-income countries). In addition, the Bank launched two fast-track financing facilities in response to the COVID pandemic (with a total value of around $4 billion) and the food crisis (with a total value of around $1.5 billion). Zayed also referred to the approval of the Boards of Directors of a number of policies and strategies that aim at achieving sustainable economic development in African countries, on top of which were the Private Sector Development Strategy, the Governance Strategy, the Climate Change and Green Growth Framework (which was launched at the margins of COP26), the Debt Management Action Plan, besides an institutional program directed towards enhancing the Bank’s internal governance mechanisms. The Bank also succeeded in providing around $32 billion during the period 2018-2021 to infrastructure projects, in the energy, water and transport sectors, besides agricultural development projects as well as private sector financing.
It is noteworthy that Ahmed Zayed has occupied several leading positions in Egypt prior to joining the AfDB Boards of Directors; most importantly his positions as Deputy Minister of International Cooperation for African Affairs and Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation for Social Development.