Nov 29 , 2020

The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), the state policy bank, has appointed two vice presidents. Yilma Abebe, the Bank’s internal audit director, was promoted to vice president in charge of small & medium enterprise financing. At the same time, Sefialem Liben, a former employee at the central bank and Bank of Abyssinia (BoA), was appointed vice president of corporate services. Yet the Bank, which has seats for five vice presidents, still has two vacant posts.

Yilma replaced long-serving vice president Teshome Alemayehu, who had seniority in lease financing, running projects financed by the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Teshome has been appointed as a lease adviser.

Before being appointed vice president, Yilma was removed from his post of internal auditor and was assigned to the loan review department where he stayed for only a few days, according to sources close to the case.

Yilma holds first and second degrees in agricultural economics from Haramaya University and Saint Mary University, respectively. He has worked at the policy bank for over two decades in different posts, including branch manager, senior credit analyst and auditor.

The 52-year-old Sefialem Liben, who has vast experience in the banking industry, graduated from Addis Abeba University in business administration in 1989 and joined the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) the same year. He also earned his second degree in Business Administration in 2007 from the same university. Before departing from the central bank, Sefialem’s last post was as a department director. In 2010, he joined Abyssinia as vice president in charge of resources. He departed BoA to engage in senior consultancy services after serving for over six years.

Sefialem replaced Dessalegn Bogale, who was serving as acting vice president for the past few months. Before Dessalegn took the post, Hadush Gebreegziabher, vice president of corporate services, departed from the Bank in March after serving for three and a half years. Prior to being appointed as vice president in 2017, Hadush was the Meqelle Branch District Manager.

The latest appointment is part of a redeployment plan of the new management, according to Natnael Hailu, acting director of strategy, change and communications at DBE, which has been struggling with a high rate of non-performing loans that once even reached 40pc.

The appointment of the two new vice presidents should be endorsed by the board of the Bank first, and then it will be sent to NBE for approval, according to Natnael.

The Bank has had a new president since mid-September of this year. Yohannes Ayalew (PhD), the former vice governor and chief economist of NBE, has assumed the presidency at the Development Bank, replacing Haileyesus Bekele. Over the past four years, the Bank has changed presidents three times.

Getachew Wakie, vice president for project appraisal and portfolio management for the past three and a half years, is now joined by the two new vice presidents. However, the posts of vice president for finance & banking and vice president for customer relationship management have been vacant for over a year and have not yet been filled.

"It's been challenging to get the right picks for the posts," said Natnael. "But there will be more appointments in the coming weeks to fill the vacant posts."

PUBLISHED ON Nov 29,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1074]

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