This CD Talk aims at showcasing the role of IMF capacity development (CD) in helping Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) country authorities promote good governance and minimize vulnerabilities to corruption in the use of the emergency financial support to mitigate the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Managing Director,
Antoinette Monsio Sayeh has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) since November 2016 and was Co-Chair for the recently concluded 19th Replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA19), the World Bank’s Fund for the poorest. She previously oversaw and significantly enhanced the International Monetary Fund’s engagement with its sub-Saharan African members as Director of the African Department between July 2008 and August 2016.
As Minister of Finance in post-conflict Liberia (January 2006 through June 2008), she led the country through the clearance of its long-standing multilateral debt arrears, the HIPC Decision Point, the Paris Club, and its first Poverty Reduction Strategy, significantly strengthening its public finances and championing public financial management reform. Before joining President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet, Ms. Sayeh worked for the World Bank for 17 years, including as Country Director for Benin, Niger, and Togo; Senior Country Economist for Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as an Advisor in the Bank’s Operations Policy Vice Presidency and as Assistant to its principal Managing Director. Before joining the Bank, Ms. Sayeh worked in economic advisory positions in Liberia’s Ministries of Finance and Planning.
Ms. Sayeh graduated with a bachelor’s degree with honors in economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in International Economic Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. While at CGD, Ms. Sayeh has also served on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College; Board of Directors of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development; and Board of Directors of Emerging Public Leaders.
European Commissioner for International Partnerships
As European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen oversees the European Commission’s work on international cooperation and sustainable development. She is a strong advocate for gender equality, social justice and youth participation.
Before joining the Commission, Ms Urpilainen served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament, representing her electoral district of Vaasa for almost 17 years, from 2003 to 2019. In 2008, she became the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. From 2011 to 2014, she served as Finland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. During that time (2013-14), she became closely involved in development issues, joining the Development Committee of the World Bank Group and IMF and chairing the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. From 2015 to 2019 she sat on Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs. She also served as the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation (2017-19) and chaired the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO (2015-18).
Commissioner Urpilainen has a master’s degree in educational science from the University of Jyväskylä. As a student, she took part in the Erasmus exchange programme in Vienna, Austria. Before entering politics, she worked as a teacher in a comprehensive school. She is a longstanding champion of civil society and democracy. She has been a passionate European since her youth, and has chaired many NGOs in her home country, including the UN Association of Finland.
Commissioner Urpilainen was born in 1975. She is married and has two children.
Hon. Régis Immongault
Gabonese Parliament and Finance and Budget Commission
The Honorable Régis Immongault, MP, is a member of the Gabonese Parliament and of its Finance and Budget Commission re-elected per October 2018. He spent most of his career at the Gabonese public administration, starting at the Treasury in 1989 and passing by various advisory positions in different ministries until reaching the position of Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources in 2009. Since then, he continuously served as Minister in various Ministries—Minister of Industry and Mining (2012–2014), Minister of Economy and Investment Promotion (2014–2018), and State Minister of Foreign Affairs (2018–2019)—up to June 2019 when he left the government as State Minister of Housing and Urbanization. The Hon. Mr. Immongault, MP, holds a master’s degree in Economic Sciences from the Omar BONGO University in Libreville and a Master of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Economic Sciences from the University of Paris X, Nanterre. In 1988, he further graduated from the Ecole des Services du Trésor de Noisiel, France.
Beauty Emefa Narteh
Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition
Beauty Emefa Narteh is the Executive Secretary of Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC). Beauty mobilizes support through increased awareness-raising and continued sensitization of citizens on the basic anti-corruption laws. This is expected to promote increased transparency as empowered citizens hold duty bearers to account.
Institute for Capacity Development,
Roger Nord is a national of the Netherlands. Currently Deputy Director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, he oversees the IMF’s global partnerships. Since May 2018, he also co-chairs the joint World Bank-IMF Debt Management Facility. Previously, he was Deputy Director of the IMF’s African Department, responsible for country operations in East Africa and francophone West Africa and oversight over the IMF’s network of resident representatives in sub-Saharan Africa. He also led the work on debt and public finance issues in Africa, and was responsible for the IMF’s relations with China regarding Africa. Among his publications, he co-authored A Rebalancing Act for China and Africa: The Effects of China’s Rebalancing on Sub-Saharan Africa’s Trade and Growth (2017) with Wenjie Chen, and was the lead author of Tanzania – The Story of an African Transition (2009). Before joining the African Department, he was advisor to IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler and the IMF’s regional representative in Central Europe. He is a graduate of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and of the University of Chicago.
Fiscal Affairs Department,
Vitor Gaspar, a Portuguese national, has been Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund since 2014. Prior to joining the IMF, he was a Special Adviser at Banco de Portugal. He served as Minister of State and Finance of Portugal during 2011–13. He also held a number of positions in European institutions. Notably, he was director general of research at the European Central Bank from 1998–2004.
Mr. Gaspar holds a Ph.D. and a post-doctoral agregado in Economics from Universidade Nova de Lisboa; he graduated from Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
Abebe Aemro Selassie
Abebe Aemro Selassie is the Director of the African Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a position he has held since 2016. In this capacity, Mr. Selassie oversees the IMF’s operations and engagement with 45 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, spanning the three main pillars of IMF work—policy advice, lending operations, and technical assistance. His responsibilities also include building strategic partnerships and dialogue with senior policymakers and institutions across the region.
Before taking up his current position, Mr. Selassie gained extensive experience in a wide-ranging 22-year career at the IMF. He held various senior positions, including Deputy Director in the African Department, Mission Chief for Portugal and South Africa, Division Chief of the African Department’s Regional Studies Division, and the IMF’s Senior Resident Representative in Uganda. Earlier in his career, he worked on the Fund’s lending programs with Turkey, Thailand, Romania and Estonia as well as being deeply involved in policy, operational review, and economic research work.
Before joining the IMF in 1994, he worked for the Government of Ethiopia and the Economist Intelligence Unit in London.
Mr. Selassie is an Ethiopian national. He completed his graduate studies at the London School of Economics.