Gates Foundation appoints new Africa director

22 Feb 2019, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria

Summary

Until his appointment, Oumar Seydi served as the International Finance Corporation’s regional director for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Oumar Seydi, newly-appointed Africa Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the appointment of Oumar Seydi as its new Africa Director. The Gates Foundation’s President of Global Development Division, Chris Elias, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Until his appointment, Oumar Seydi served as the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) regional director for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In his role as the SSA regional director, Seydi managed the corporation’s investment and advisory operations across 49 countries in the SSA.

“Oumar brings extensive experience of working across Africa, leading high-performing teams through extensive growth and partnerships across both the public and private sectors,” Elias said.

Seydi also served as the IFC’s director for eastern and southern Africa. He joined the IFC in 1997 as an investment officer from Ernst & Young in New York. Seydi has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

“I look forward to working with our partners and exploring new strategies that will help increase the foundation’s impact on the continent,” Seydi said. “This is a critical time in Africa’s development and I am excited to join an organisation that is committed to supporting African countries in meeting their development goals.”

In its 2018 Goalkeepers’ Report, the Gates Foundation stated that Africa is the most important priority for the world. According to the report, what happens to the large number of young people in the continent will be the single biggest determinant of whether the world makes progress toward sustainable development goals.

Founded in 2000 by the merging of William Gates Foundation and Gates Learning Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally.  In the past two years, the Foundation has doubled its Africa-based staff to deepen its work across the continent.


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