Botswana’s top economists join World Bank

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Mpho Tebele

Gaborone- Botswana’s top economists, Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo and Ita Mannathoko, have been appointed to top positions at the World Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has revealed.

Nyamadzabo, who is currently Secretary for Economic and Financial Policy in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, has been duly appointed as the incoming Alternate Executive Director for Africa Group 1 Constituency at the Executive Board of Directors of the World Bank Group, in Washington DC, USA.

Mannathoko has also been duly appointed as First Alternate Executive Director of the Africa Group 1 Constituency at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Washington DC, USA. Before that she was a Senior Economist and Advisor in the IMF’s Evaluation Office.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance said” “These positions are effective from the 1 November, 2018 to 31 October, 2020, and subsequently as substantive Executive Directors from 1 November, 2020 to 31 October 2022.” 
The last time Botswana held such posts was in 1977-1981 when former President Festus Mogae was Executive Director at the IMF and 1991-1995 when the current Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo held the post of Executive Director at the World Bank.

Dr Nyamadzabo was appointed Secretary for Economic and Financial Policy, in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, from August 2007 until present.

According to the ministry, this is a permanent secretary level post that is responsible for the broad economic policy, which includes among others; national development plan coordination and preparation; preparation of the annual national Budget Speeches; tax policy, banking and non-banking legislation and policy; regional and multilateral economic coordination (SACU, SADC, AfDB, and World Bank/IMF); human resource planning; and population and employment policies.

Prior to this, Nyamadzabo, started his career as a professional economist in June 1984, and has held numerous positions in the Ministry of Finance over 34 years, mostly at senior and middle level management.

 He has worked extensively on the formulation and analysis of macroeconomic policy issues, and has played a crucial role in deepening the public understanding of economic issues through various publications, academic papers, reports and public speaking. He has been a member of various National Councils and Boards, chaired by Ministers and former Presidents over the years. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Botswana Unified Revenue Service, and Botswana’s Alternate Governor for African Development Bank and For her part Mannathoko has a strong academic background in economics and mathematics with work experience in areas relating to central banking, regional and international economics, macroeconomics, development economics, results based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and managing staff teams.

The ministry said Mannathoko has proven capacity for intellectual and operational leadership, having served in Bank of Botswana’s Exchange Control Department as a supervisor/junior manager, and subsequently as a unit manager and policy maker in Bank of Botswana’s research department, before taking on an M&E and economic advisory position in the US government’s USAID seven-year IMPACT monitoring and evaluation project in Southern Africa run by Aurora Associates International.

She then served as Advisor to the Executive Director, Africa Group 1 Constituency at the World Bank and the IMF, before her appointment as a Senior Economist and Advisor in the IMF’s Evaluation Office.

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