By Mbafan Ade (BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT) –
The African Development Bank (AfDB), has appointed Mike Salawou as Director of the Infrastructure and Urban Development Department.
A statement by the AfDB in Abidjan, Ivory Coast at the weekend said the appointment of the new Director took effect from May 16, 2023.
Salawou, a Danish national, has been the Acting Director of the Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, where he led sovereign and non-sovereign operations. He also doubled as the department’s Infrastructure and Partnerships Division Manager.
He has extensive years of experience in the African Development Bank and has delivered transformational continental, regional and national infrastructure programs, sector policy dialogue and initiatives, including the Bank’s support to the African Union Commission and African Union Development Agency NEPAD’s Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (worth $160 billion in investment potential).
Salawou successfully managed the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Fund for bankable infrastructure projects, which mobilized close to $11.5 billion in downstream investment, including $2.6 billion from the private sector.
In his new role, Salawou will guide the Bank’s strategies and action plans towards implementation of the Ten-Year Strategy and High Five priorities.
He will oversee and grow a transport infrastructure portfolio worth over $11 billion while focusing on driving value, sector policy reforms, best practices and international standards for transport and urban development and related sectors, private sector, and governments.
Salawou joined the Bank as a young professional in 2002. He has held several other leadership positions, including advisor to the Vice President and Secretary General and as Acting Manager for NEPAD Division.
Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Salawou worked as Corporate Credit Analyst for the Investment Banking arm of Société Générale, Paris La Défense, France. He also served as a management consultant in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Salawou holds a Master of Science in Economics and Finance from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; a dual Master of Arts in International Management from Copenhagen Business School and Ecole des hautes études commerciales, Paris, France; and an Executive Master’s degree in Development Policies and Management from Sciences Po Paris, France.
Commenting on his appointment, Salawou said: “Infrastructure is critical to economic development, regional integration and improvement of the quality of life of people as highlighted by the Bank’s High 5s. I look forward to working with the operating partners internally and externally to reinforce the Bank’s leadership in financing sustainable infrastructure and to strive to close the infrastructure financing gap on the continent”.
Commenting on the appointment, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said: “I am pleased to appoint Mr. Mike Salawou as Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Department.
“The Infrastructure Department is one of the key drivers of the Bank’s High 5s, with huge potential for private sector development. Mike is a pragmatic and solution-oriented professional, with hands-on experience in infrastructure financing and development.
“Having served the institution for many years in various capacities, his knowledge of the Bank and its operations will enable him to build effective partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, and to roll out the Bank’s strategies in a sustainable, integrated, inclusive and innovative manner across its Regional Member Countries, in furtherance of the Bank’s High 5s.”