Gabriel Negatu worked with the Bank for close to two decades

Oct 5 , 2019

Gabriel Negatu

Gabriel Negatu, one of the top senior officials at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), a multilateral development financial institution, departed his post this month.

Gabriel, who was the director-general of the East Africa Regional Development & Business Delivery Office at the Bank, left the post as of October 1, 2019, due to retirement at the age of 62. He led one of five regional offices for the past three years and was based in Nairobi, Kenya.

An American citizen of Ethiopian origin, Gabriel worked with the continental bank for the past two decades in different capacities. Before his latest assignment, he worked as director of the AfDB's Eastern Africa Regional Resource Center for five years until 2015.

Gabriel has more than a quarter of a century of senior-level programme, operations and managerial experience. He has served as director of operations, country regional programmes and policy and director of operations for sector operations at the Bank. He was also senior and principal programme officer, chief programme officer and sector director for economic and financial governance, where he led the Bank’s first governance department.

Gabriel holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and planning from California State University. He also earned his second degree in public and international administration, specialising in economics and social development, from the University of Pittsburgh.

"He did a lot in increasing the Bank's visibility in the East Africa region," said Abdul Kamara (PhD), country manager of AfDB's Ethiopia Office.

AfDB has 24 ongoing operations in Ethiopia worth 1.7 billion dollars. The activities are in the energy, water supply and sanitation, transport and agriculture sectors. Its most significant investments are in road projects, amounting to 600 million dollars, and energy follows, comprising half a billion dollars of investments.

The 230Kv power transmission project that extends from Mekelle-Dallol to Semera-Afdera, the Ethio-Kenya power transmission line, Addis Abeba-Nairobi-Mombasa corridor, the Jimma Chida road upgrading project and the Adama-Awash Expressway are among the major projects of the Bank in Ethiopia.

The bank is searching for a qualified candidate to fill the vacant post, according to Abdul.

"It may take a while to find a replacement," he told Fortune.

Along with Gabriel, Ethiopia has few professionals that are working in multilateral organisations. Kesetebirhan Admasu (MD), CEO of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership under the UN; Tedros Adhanom (PhD), director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO); Abebe AemroSelassie, director of the African Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and Mekonnen Tefera, director of Air Transport at the African Civil Aviation Commission, an African Union specialised agency, are among them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also mandated to assist Ethiopians and Ethiopian-born professionals to take key posts at international organisations.

The Ministry assists in two ways, according to Nebiat Getachew, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One of them is helping them in diplomatic campaigns while they run for international posts and by choosing qualified professionals and assisting through endorsements, according to him.

"The campaigns we did for Tedros and Mekonnen are part of the assistance," Nebiat told Fortune.

Gabriel is also one of the eight founding members of Ethio Lease Ethiopian Capital Goods Finance S.C., the sixth lease financing company established with 400 million Br. Gabriel founded the company along with Girma Wake, the former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines and African Asset Finance Company Holdings BV, a company registered in the Netherlands.

He is also a member of the Diaspora Trust Fund Advisory Council

"I'm grateful for a chance to proudly serve, connect, illuminate and impact lives," tweeted Gabriel. "I exit confident [that the] future is bright for well managed and integrated Africa."

PUBLISHED ON Oct 05,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1014]

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