Board of Directors

CoDA’s work is guided and the institution itself is governed by a Board of eminent African and non-African personalities. The Board Members serve in their personal capacity and are selected among the most eminent, effective and esteemed African and international personalities noted for their professional accomplishments, their national and international leadership experience, and their commitment to Africa’s growth and development. The current Chairperson of the CoDA Board of Directors is H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, formerPresident of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to this, the Board was led by H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of the Republic of Botswana.

The work of the Board of Directors has always been supported by the CoDA Secretariat which currently has offices at the AUC and ECA. However, reflecting on the various pertinent decisions made by the Board of Directors at its 11th meeting in April, 2015; it was proposed that a technical committee should be formed in support of the Board. This committee would be responsible for reviewing the analytical papers as well as other documents prepared by the CoDA Secretariat and will submit its recommendations to the board accordingly. The committee would also provide guidance to the Secretariat regarding the CoDA annual work program. Finally, the committee would oversee the day-to-day functioning of the secretariat on behalf of the Board. In line with this, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the CoDA Board was established following the approval of the Board itself. The establishment of the TAC was also necessary in order to avoid the unchecked autonomy of the Secretariat and/or its leadership from diligently adhering to the Board’s decisions. In essence, CoDA is led by its Board of Directors with the support of the TAC which also oversees the CoDA Secretariat.

H. E. Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria & Chair of the CoDA Board of Directors Former President Olusegun Obasanjo served as Nigeria’s head of state twice. Once as a military ruler, from 1976 to 1979, after which he handed power to a democratically elected civilian president-hence becoming the first Military Head of state to transfer power peacefully to a civilian regime in Nigeria and again from 1999 to 2007, as the democratically elected President. Upon leaving office then, he also oversaw the first civilian handover of power in Nigeria from one democratically-elected leader to another. Former President Obasanjo has at different times served as Chairman of the Group of 77, Chairman of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Chairman of the African Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee on NEPAD, and serves on the African Progress Panel to monitor and promote Africa‘s development. In 2008, he was appointed by the United Nations as a special envoy for Africa and has since overseen democratic elections on behalf of the African Union and ECOWAS in countries across the continent.

H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Ph.D.
Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission

H.E. Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa is the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission. In this capacity, she oversees administration and finance of the Commission, assists the Chairperson in the execution of his functions to ensure the smooth running of the Commission, and acts as the Chairperson in his absence. Dr Nsanzabaganwa holds a Ph.D. in economics, and a honorary doctorate of commerce from the University of Stellenbosch. She has over twenty years of experience developing and leading programmes that drive financial inclusion and economic prosperity. Prior to her election as Deputy Chairperson, she held senior positions in the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, including Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning, Minister of Trade and Industry, and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank. Dr Nsanzabaganwa has supported various gender empowerment initiatives through her membership of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion gender committee, Women's World Banking African Advisory Council, the Graça Machel Trust Expert Group on women's financial inclusion and the digital economy in Africa, New Faces New Voices Rwanda chapter, Unity Club, amongst others. Dr Nsanzabaganwa was elected by the 34th African Union Assembly for a four-year term renewable once. She is the first woman to hold the position of Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina
Ex-Officio Board Member (AfDB)

Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina is the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank Group. He was elected to the position on May 28, 2015 by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He is the first Nigerian to serve as President of the Bank Group. Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programs to expand opportunities for the private sector. He was previously Vice-President (Policy and Partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He was also Associate Director (Food Security) at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he worked for a decade (1998-2008) in senior leadership positions, including as Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa. Adesina has received a number of global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture. In 2010, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed him as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals, along with Bill Gates, the Spanish Prime Minister and the President of Rwanda. He was named Person of the Year by Forbes Africa magazine in 2013.

Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah
Ex-Officio Board Member (AFREXIMBANK)

Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah assumed the position of President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) on 21 September 2015. He was previously the Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking from October 2008. Dr. Oramah joined Afreximbank as Chief Analyst in 1994 and was promoted to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development in 2007. Prior to joining Afreximbank, he was an Assistant Research Manager at the Nigerian Export Import Bank from 1992. Dr. Oramah holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics, obtained in 1987 and 1991 respectively, from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He received a B.Sc. degree, also in agricultural economics, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1983. He has published a book, “Foundations of Structured Trade Finance”, and has written more than 35 articles on a wide range of African economic, trade and trade finance issues. He is a regular speaker in trade and trade finance conferences around the world. Dr. Oramah serves as Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the International Factors Group (IFG) and is on the Board of the IFG and the Editorial Boards of Trade and Forfaiting Review and the Journal of African Trade. He is also a member of the Consultative Board on World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization.

H.E. Mr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae
Board Member

The Honorable Mr. Mogae, President of Botswana from 1998 to 2008, is Chairman of the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation, which is a leadership initiative he launched in 2008 to scale up global response to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Mogae received the 2008 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Award for Achievement in African Leadership for having “ensured Botswana’s continued stability and prosperity in the face of an HIV/AIDS pandemic which threatened the future of his country and people.” He is co-Chairman of the High Level Independent Review Panel on Fiduciary Controls and Oversight Mechanisms of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mr. Mogae is also a member of the UNAIDS Commission on HIV Prevention. He served as Minister of Finance and Development in Botswana in 1989 and was previously the Alternate and Executive Director for Anglophone Africa (1976-1980) for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC.

Mr. Abdoulie Janneh
Board Member

Mr. Janneh is Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. He is a Gambian national who was the United Nations Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) from 2005 to 2012. During his tenure, Mr. Janneh fostered strong partnerships at the highest levels between ECA and governments, the private sector, civil society, as well as national, regional and international organizations. Prior to joining ECA, Mr. Janneh served as UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa (2000-2005). In that capacity, he managed the UNDP’s largest Regional Bureau, covering 44 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and overseeing more than 1,500 staff. He had also previously held senior positions in UNDP and its affiliated funds, including Resident Representative posts in various countries, as well as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (1990-1993).

Professor Abdoulaye Bathily
Board Member

Professor Bathily is Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations’ Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). As such, he has monitored political affairs, mediation, human rights and civil affairs in Mali since July 2013. A Senegalese national, Professor Bathily has undertaken numerous official and unofficial conflict/crisis management missions throughout Africa, including Mali, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Madagascar, and Guinea. From 2012 to 2013, he served as Senior Minister in the Office of the President of Senegal, overseeing African Affairs. Professor Bathily was African Union Team Leader for the Observation of General Elections in Nigeria (2004) and Algeria (2005) From 1975 to 2013, Professor Bathily was a tenured professor of History at the Université Cheikh in Dakar, Senegal, where he taught general history, focusing on Sahel countries from pre-colonial period to decolonization, and post-colonial history and liberation struggles in Africa.

Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe
Board Member

Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe, Vice President of Uganda from 1994 to 2003, is the United Nations Secretary-General Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. A surgeon who received a Ph.D in Global Health and Population from the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe is currently also Senior Advisor to the President of Uganda on Population and Health, tasked with coordinating health sector reform. She had previously served in various Cabinet positions: as a Member of Parliament, and also as a Member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted Uganda’s 1995 Constitution. Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe is one of the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation, an organization of African leaders whose goal is to mobilize and support African leadership and global policy makers to renew and intensify the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe was the first President of the African Women’s Committee on Peace and Development of the African Union.

Mr. Hakim Ben Hammouda
Board Member

Dr. Hakim Ben Hammouda served as the Minister of Economy and Finance under interim Prime Minister Medhi Jomaa from January 2014 to February 2015. Prior to his appointment to the independent, technocratic cabinet established to ensure credible elections, Ben Hammouda worked as special adviser to the president of the African Development Bank. He also worked in various capacities for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNCEA) from 2001 to 2008, serving as chief economist to the commission in his last two years there. From 2008 to 2011 he held the position of director of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation at the World Trade Organization (WTO). He received his PhD in international economics from the University of Grenoble in France.

Professor Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer
Board Member

Jendayi E. Frazer is known worldwide as a policy leader and expert on African Affairs. A member of the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University since 2009, she is a Distinguished Public Service Professor in the Heinz College’s School of Public Policy and Management. Ambassador Frazer was the leading architect of U.S.-Africa policy for nearly a decade, most recently serving as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from August 2005 to January 2009. She was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from January 2001 until her swearing-in as the first woman U.S. Ambassador to South Africa in June 2004. In recognition of her contributions, Secretary Condoleezza Rice presented Frazer with the Distinguished Service Award in January 2009, the highest award bestowed by the Secretary of State. In July 2010, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia awarded Frazer with the distinction of Dame Grand Commander in the Humane Order of African Redemption. Dr. Frazer received her B.A. degree in Political Science (honors) and African and Afro-American Studies (distinction) in 1985, and M.A. degrees in International Policy Studies in 1985 and International Development Education in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Political Science, 1994 all from Stanford University.

Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra
Board Member

Dr. Cheikh Modibo DIARRA is a Malian astrophysicist, a specialist in space exploration and a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. In 2006 , he was appointed head of Microsoft Africa at Bill Gates's request and with whom he has long been a friend. He was also the Prime Minister of Mali from April 17, 2012 to December 12, 2012. Cheikh Modibo Diarra was recruited by the Nasa and, as their first African researcher, he has participated in programmes such as Magellan (Venus), Ulysses (Sun's pole), Galileo (Jupiter), Mars Observer and Mars Pathfinder. In 1999, he created the Pathfinder Foundation for the education and development of Africa by 2002 had developed the laboratory for solar research at Bamako. On the 20th of February 2006, he was appointed the head of Microsoft Africa. Dr. Diarra is the founder and President of the African Science and New Technology Summit, the Vice President of the World Commission for the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) in the United Nations and a member of the Independent Commission of Africa and the Millennium. He was also the first President of the Virtual African University and member of the Africa Union for panel of Biotechnology in the partnership for the development of Africa (NEPAD); he has also been awarded the African Lifetime Achievement Award.

H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha
Board Member

Mr. Erastus Mwencha is a Pan Africanist with over thirty years of progressive experience in policy formulation and institutional transformation at national, regional and continental levels in Africa. Mr. Mwencha was elected in January 2008, as Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission by the Heads of State and Government of the 54 Member States of the African Union and re-elected to the same position in July 2012 with an overwhelming vote of 98%. Prior to his election at the AUC, he worked at Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for over 25 years and served as its Secretary General for ten years. He was particularly instrumental in contributing to the expansion of intra-COMESA trade, developing programs for private sector cooperation and trade with the rest of world, spearheading regional hard and soft infrastructure programs in transport, communication and energy. He also developed the continental negotiating position for the Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and actively supported the programs to integrate women in development. Mr. Mwencha has also held several senior roles within the Ministry of Industry in Kenya.

Dr. Rolf M Jeker
Board Member

Dr. Rolf M Jeker, is presently Chairman of the AO Alliance and a former Ambassador and Under-Secretary in the Swiss Government and Director General and Executive Vice-President of Societe Generale de Surveillance(SGS), Geneva. Mr. Jeker also served as an Executive Director in the African Development Bank and Fund and acted as Director of Research in the Bank of Zambia. He was also a Senior Fellow of UNITAR for Debt Management in Africa. His main experience and expertise is in international trade including trade promotion and trade facilitation, economic policy and exchange rate policies, debt management as well as energy and environment including climate issues. Mr. Jeker’s activities had a strong focus on Africa and low and middle income countries in general including numerous publications.