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Meet the New Bank Governor: Mr. Sheku Sambadeen Sesay
May 26, 2009, 17:24
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The 59 year old Sheku Sambadeen Sesay, current Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, was last Friday May 22nd 2009, nominated by President Koroma to become the countrys next Governor of the Central Bank. This follows the appointment of the erstwhile Bank Governor Dr. Samura Kamara to become the countrys current Finance Minister in March this year.

he New Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone

Not much is known about the countrys new Bank Governor designate who will be facing Parliament in the next couple of days to seek for their approval to be granted for him to man the Central Bank on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone.


Awareness Times research indicates that Sesay was born on August 20th 1949 in Kambia District, Northern Sierra Leone. He attended Primary Schools in Kambia and the American Wesleyan Mission School in Binkolo, Bombali before he proceeded to the Albert Academy Secondary School where his proficiency saw him completing up to Sixth Form Schooling.

Sesay had his University Education in the United States where he got both his B.A. and Masters in Economics from the Howard University, Washington DC.


Upon his return to Sierra Leone in 1978, Sesay became a Part-time lecturer of History of Economic Thought as well as a Lecturer in Money & Banking at the FBC, University of Sierra Leone.

He later became the Senior Project Officer, National Development Bank (NDB), Freetown, Sierra Leone where his Responsibilities included, Identification, Preparation, Appraisal and related activities of industrial projects.

Prior to his time at the NDB, he served briefly as Economic Development and Planning Officer at the then Ministry of Planning and Economic Development where his assignments included preparation of development plan and estimates, cabinet proposals and advisor to the Cabinet Minister on development issues.


In October 1984, he was recruited by the African Development Bank (ADB) as a Loans Officer following an international process of recruitment and vigorous criteria. Later, he held the positions of Senior Country Economist, Principal Country Economist and Chief Country Economist in Country Department, North Region. He was subsequently to be Economist for Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, The Gambia and Ethiopia. Sesay was also responsible for ECOWAS activities during the period and represented the African Development Bank (ADB) at the technical committee established to review the ECOWAS Treaty. Conducted a study on behalf of the African Development Bank on how to make the budget of ECOWAS independent of the budgetary contributions of the member states and came up with a "Community Levy" that is today being implemented.

He was to rise up the ladder at the ADB to become in the year 2001, the supervising Economist responsible for 7 countries Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Mauritania. He was progressively placed into even higher positions until at one point, he was placed at a very sensitive position at the ADB requiring confidentiality, tact and diplomacy when he was made to act as Secretary General of the Bank, responsible for all documents and proceedings of the Board of Governors.

By May 2004, he was made the Resident Representative, African Development Bank (ADB) Tanzania Country Office where he also covered activities of the Bank in the East African Community (EAC), with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as members.


It was from this position that he was recruited by former President Tejan Kabbah, to become Sierra Leones Financial Secretary some two years ago; a position he has held successfully as evidenced in the satisfactory completion of two economic reviews with the IMF/World Bank under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).

Sesay is credited with having been able to mobilize budget support partners as well as improving the level of Dialogue between the Sierra Leone Government and its development partners. 

As Financial Secretary, he was Responsible for the fiduciary management of all Government Ministries, departments and agencies. His primary duty was to advise the Minister and supervise the staff of the Ministry in the performance of their duties under the general direction and control of the Minister.


A summary of his 27 years professional experience will include 22 with the African Development Bank (ADB) at managerial and professional levels with responsibilities covering country representation, programming and economic analysis, country operations, policy, planning and research, and corporate secretariat services to the Boards of Directors and Governors of the Bank.

Sheku Sambadeen Sesay acted as the Resource person in different aspects and phases of ADB initiatives covering operational, policy and administrative aspects. He made intellectual and professional contributions, over the years, to preparation of major ADB policy and strategic documents, studies and initiatives where he spearheaded the Banks participation in the study that made ECOWAS independent of the budgetary contributions of member states. He has made several presentations using the Tanzanian case on Harmonisation, alignment and management for results, growth oriented policies and in dealing with HIPC and MDRI for beneficiary countries.

His Managerial and Leadership Roles include provision of direction and guidance to Country/Sector Directors, and supervision of a team of Economists on country strategy papers, poverty reduction strategy papers, policy dialogue with Regional Member Countries (RMC), and management of country portfolio. During this period, he interacted with the highest level of government officials, Presidents and members of cabinet.

Sheku Sambadeen Sesay (former Financial Secretary)

Led Missions for identification, preparation, appraisal, supervision, mid-term reviews, project completion, and post-evaluation for projects/programs, policy based operations and institutional support projects, and for Country Strategy and Policy Dialogue. Chaired loan negotiations, internal and inter-departmental working group meetings, participated in several Board and Management meetings and seminars on various issues of operational and strategic interests.

Proven Resourcefulness and pro-activeness in Bank activities, and developed good working relationship with other development partners including the World Bank, IMF and officials at the highest level of government in RMCs in the course of the Bank duties. Participated in donor discussions for the US$640 million debt cancellation from the ADB under the MDRI initiative for Tanzania and advising them how to use this fiscal space.

Promoted the Bank image, Vision Statements, policies, procedures and practices in RMCs and Regional Finance Institutions in the course of interactions with the key officials of their Ministries of Finance, Economic Development and Planning, and of the East African Community (EAC), East African Development Bank (EADB),COMESSA, SADC.

Apart from his previously stated academic qualifications, his authorship of several reports at the ADB and his involvement in the preparation of several reports in developmental issues, the new Bank Governor designate also holds a Certificate in Techniques of Public Finance from the IMF, Washington D.C., a Certificate in Executive Credit Programme for African Bankers from the Chemical Banking Corporation, New York, USA and a Certificate in Industrial Project Preparation, Evaluation & Financing from the Central School of Planning & Statistics, Warsaw, Poland.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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