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Kenyan-Born Economist Lands Top World Bank Post

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By Judith Gicobi

The new chief economist for the World Bank’s Africa region is Andrew Dabalen, an economist of Kenyan descent.

Albert Zeufack, who was appointed Country Director for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Angola, Burundi, and Sao Tome and Principe, was succeeded by Dabalen on July 1.

In his new position, Dabalen will be responsible for creating economic analyses for the area that would influence the execution of World Bank-funded development projects.

“The Chief Economist is responsible for providing guidance on strategic priorities and the technical quality of economic analysis in the region,” stated the World Bank on its website while making the announcement.

Dabalen was chosen because of his track record of accomplishment in the fight against poverty, which was supported by academic studies.

His journey with the World Bank, which started in Kenya, has lasted more than ten years.

Although he was born in the country, his parents later relocated to Washington DC, where he received his schooling. He majored in economics during his undergrad.

The economist cum scholar is a graduate of the University of California with a Master’s in International Development and a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

He began studying global economics after that and has since written scholarly articles that have been cited by academics all around the world.

He began working at the World Bank as a Lead Economist in 2011 and has since held a number of positions, including Senior Economist for the region of Europe and Central Asia.

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Additionally, he held positions as Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in the South Asia Region and Lead Economist for Poverty and Equity in Africa.

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