New WB Country Director: ‘Hands On’

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Second from (L) Mr. Kerali, WBG .jpg

The new World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Dr. Henry Godfrey Rupiny Kerali, has promised a ‘hands on’ approach to Liberia’s development challenges.

Last week, during his first visit to Liberia since his assignment to the three-nation portfolio, Dr. Kerali said that he came with the commitment that the World Bank Group can help Liberia and the other two countries most affected by the Ebola virus disease to achieve their development goals.

On Friday, August 14, he paid a courtesy visit to the office of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Amara M. Konneh, who expressed profound appreciation for the World Bank’s support to the development process of Liberia, especially in achieving its vision for the 2030 agenda for transformation (AfT).

Minister Konneh told Dr. Kerali that the World Bank’s support crosses many sectors including energy, roads, agriculture, health and education.

“In all of those areas that we are making progress was made through your (World Bank) tremendous efforts and relationships between us,” he asserted.

The minister further provided updates on the outstanding projects and programs of the Bank.

The MFDP also mentions that the ongoing bridge construction going on by CHICO on the Caldwell road is being supported by WBG.

So, “I just want to say thank you for that as we continue to work together as partners,” he indicated.

Dr. Kerali was accompanied to the Finance Ministry by Ms. Inguna Dobraja and some senior officials of the World Bank Liberia office.

For his part, the new World Bank Country Director thanked the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and expressed admiration for President Sirleaf’s able leadership and achievements.

He recognized the challenges of the country and promised to help to resolve them; acknowledging Liberia and President Sirleaf’s strong relationship with the World Bank. “I am a hands-on person and want to assure you that the World Bank Program will start almost immediately; but will be preceded by stock taking. I also agree that agriculture should be prioritized because it is an intervention that helps to cater to the poorest of the poor and after stock taking, we will come back to the government for realignment for the next few years,” Dr. Kerali noted.

Dr. Kerali was appointed as the new Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone on July 1, 2015.

As Country Director, Dr. Kerali’s top priorities will be to: (i) work closely with the three partner countries to provide innovative products and services that respond to their diverse development challenges and contribute to achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, with specific emphasis on post-Ebola recovery; (ii) manage the Accra office and lead and support staff and country management team, working closely with internal and external partners, to enhance results; and (iii) contribute to regional and corporate initiatives.

Dr. Kerali, a Ugandan national, joined the Bank in 2003 in the Infrastructure & Energy Department in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region.

Before joining the Bank, he was a Professor at the University of Birmingham, England, specializing in the development of transport infrastructure. He led the research of developed economic cost-benefit models for assessing the feasibility of infrastructure investments.

Dr. Kerali holds a BSc (Eng.) from Makerere University, and MSc and PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK.

Prior to taking up this new appointment, Dr. Kerali was the World Bank’s Regional Director for the South Caucasus, based in Georgia.

He has previously also worked in different regions of the world, including Latin America, Africa, East Asia, South Asia, and ECA, and has also served as sector manager of the Bank’s transport programme in the ECA Region.

As a professor, he has authored over 100 publications in various books, journals and reports.

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