Abidjan, Ivory Coast - The African Development Bank has appointed Desiré Jean-Marie Vencatachellum senior director of the country economics department, effective 1 November 2023.
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A seasoned development banker, Mr. Vencatachellum has more than thirty years of experience in strategic leadership on development economics and finance issues, particularly in Africa.
Mr. Vencatachellum joined the African Development Bank Group in 2005 as a Principal Research Economist and since 2011 has served in senior positions, leading departments, such as Director of Research (2011-2012), Director of Operational Policies (2012-2013), and Director for Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department from 2013 until this appointment.
In 2020 he received the Best Mentor Award from the Staff Council of the African Development Bank Group, in recognition of the career and professional guidance he has continuously provided to his colleagues and teams.
Over the past decade Mr. Vencatachellum has played a key role in resource mobilization and partnerships.
Under his leadership, the 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group for 37 low- income African countries, reached the highest level ever at $8.9 billion in December 2022.
The replenishment saw contributions from 31 donors.
He also led the ADF-15 replenishment in which resources increased by 32%.
Mr. Vencatachellum has led, managed and overseen trust funds and special funds, and introduced many innovations.
He led the development of the 2021 African Development Bank Group Trust Fund Policy, which prioritized multi-donor trust funds and ensured that all trust funds are fully aligned with the Bank’s strategic priorities.
He pioneered a number of firsts such as establishing the Bank’s first Trust Fund with a foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust Fund, and framework agreements with the European Commission which since 2015 have led to the European Commission approvals of more than EUR 1 billion worth of co-financed projects and guarantee agreements.
As Director of the Research Department, he expanded coverage of the African Economic Outlook to all African countries.
He conceived and led the team which implemented the pioneer ex-ante Additionality and Development Outcome Assessment (ADOA) of all non-sovereign operations at the African Development Bank.
He has delivered high impact operational policies such as the Bank amended Credit Policy and the Bank Group Energy Policy.
Prior to joining the African Development Bank Group, Mr. Vencatachellum was at HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal.
He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals in economic development, economic history, econometrics and research and development. ■