Bankers Association President Hands Over WABA’s Leadership to Senegal
Following the completion of his two years tenure at the helm of the West Africa Bankers Association (WABA), John B. S. Davies, III, who is also the longest serving president of the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA), has turned over the mantle of authority to the president of Senegal Bankers Association (SBA), Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, as new President.
WABA, which brings together banks of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), both Anglophone and Francophone, is a professional association that strengthens links between banks in the region, to enable the exchange of information and to identify possibilities of capacity building for senior bankers.
It also provides support and promotes the West African Clearing House (WACH) as a means of enhancing intra-regional trade.
Nourou Sy, who served as first Vice President under Mr. Davies’s leadership, succeeded him on Thursday, July 29, 2021, virtually at the 75th meeting of the Executive Council and the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the General Assembly of WABA, is also the Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank for Economic Development (BNDE) in Dakar, Senegal.
Also elected were Madam Aina Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Sierra Leone and President of the Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Banks (SLCB) as first Vice President, and Dr. Gury Lurent Fongo, Chief Executive Officer of Afriland First Bank of Guinea and president of Guinea Bankers Association as the second Vice President, respectively.
The meetings, which were hosted by Senegal and chaired by the former WABA's president, Davies, expressed profound gratitude to his colleagues for the level of support he received during his tenure as president of the association.
Mr. Davies, a distinguished banker, is also the president and CEO of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).
The occasion, according to him, was graced by the Director-General of the West African Monetary Agency, President of the Nigerian Export Bank (Nexim) and President of the Nigerian Bankers Association as well as President of the Federation Association of Banks in Francophone West Africa.
He told Daily Observer that the President of the French Association of Commercial Banks in West Africa also attended the occasion virtually, which he said in itself was a huge legacy for him at WABA.
Mr. Davies, who is credited with WABA’s outstanding performance for the last two years, said the meeting was also graced virtually by the Minister of Finance of Senegal and Governor of the Central Bank of Senegal, respectively.
Followed by members of the Liberia Bankers Association, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal as well as the Registry General of the Chartered Institute of the Bankers of Nigeria were all in attendance.
Mr. Davies further told the Daily Observer that as former president of the association he can boast several achievements including the approval of their accounts, tenure of secretary-general was renewed for one year as well as recruitment process for new secretary-general.
He also said the board during his tenure approved the recruitment process for Programs Director, which he (Davies) said had never happened since Liberia joined WABA.
The Bankers Association president proudly disclosed that the election of Nourou Sy as the new President of WABA represents for him a big sense of accomplishment as former president of the association.
Mr. Davies expressed great confidence in Nourou Sy as a team player and his ability to do well in his new portfolio.
“The beauty about yesterday is that, for a long time, WABA has been a representation of Anglophone West Africa but under our tenure, we have put in place a strategy and framework to bring both French West Africa and English West Africa back into WABA, which was a big accomplishment exemplified yesterday by the Governor of the French West Africa Central Bank, who also attended the convention virtually,” he said with great happiness.
According to him, the election of Mr. Nourou Sy as president of WABA has never happened and this was the first of its kind to have the French Central Banks Governor gracing their occasion and making remarks there.
“Some of my legacy at WABA was to put in place the framework to have a unified region and create harmony within the association by ensuring that we bring our colleagues on board, which we have been working on despite the impact of COVID-19,” he continued, “For us in Liberia, we are very proud that our country was able to head WABA and chaired the affairs for two years and turned it over to Senegal successfully.”
He used the occasion to appreciate the new leadership for giving him the title of honorary President of WABA. According to him, the members of the association value his contribution and still want him on board to help with the running of the institution, which he commits himself to do.
“I am going to be giving a lot of support morally as well as a human endeavor in making sure that Nourou Sy succeeds for the sake of our region. So he made it very clear to me that he wants me by his side when he is making those rounds,” said Mr. Davies.
He further revealed that there are two major critical things that the West Africa region is working towards right now, including the West African Payment System -- that integrates all the West African economy and the West African Single Currency, in which WABA is a major key player to those developments.