Board of Directors

CoDA’s work is guided, and the institution 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, former President 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 to support the Board.

In line with this proposal, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the CoDA Board was established following the approval of the Board. The establishment of the TAC was necessary to avoid unchecked autonomy of the secretariat and ensure that its leadership diligently adheres to the Board’s decisions. CoDA is, therefore, led by its Board of Directors with the support of the TAC, which also oversees the CoDA secretariat.

TAC is responsible for reviewing the analytical papers and other documents prepared by the CoDA secretariat and submitting recommendations to the board accordingly. It provides guidance to the secretariat regarding the CoDA annual work programme and oversees the day-to-day functioning of the secretariat on behalf of the Board.

H. E. Olusegun Obasanjo

H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo is former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chair of the CoDA Board of Directors. H.E. 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. He served again from 1999 to 2007 as the democratically elected President, after Nigeria had its first civilian handover of power from one democratically elected leader to another. H.E. Obasanjo has at different times served as Chairman of the Group of 77, Chairman of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and Chairman of the African Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee on NEPAD. He 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. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok
Alternate Chairperson

Policy Analyst/Economist by profession with over forty years’ experience with public, private and international organizations, with extensive work experience in Africa and the Middle East. Over the years have developed an interest in economic and social policy analysis, focusing on issues related to sustainable development, strategic & corporate planning, poverty analysis, regional integration and trade, labor market, social protection & micro-credit, governance & public financial management and accountability, macroeconomic policies, institutions, capacity development and resource management. Presided over the Transitional Government of The Sudan as the Prime Minister during the period of 2019 to 2021.

H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Ph.D.
Ex-Officio Board Member (AUC)

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)

Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina is the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank Group. He was elected to the position on 28 May 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 and he is currently serving his second term as president of the Bank. Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programmes to expand opportunities for the private sector. He previously served as Vice-President (Policy and Partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and as 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 several global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture. In 2010, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed him as one of 17 global leaders to lead implementation of 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.

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

Dr Benedict Okey Oramah became President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on 21 September 2015. He was previously Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking from October 2008. He had 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 B.Sc., MSc and PhD degrees in agricultural economics. He has published a book, “Foundations of Structured Trade Finance”, and has written several 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 a member of the Consultative Board on World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization.

H.E. Mr. Claver Gatete
Ex-Officio Board Member (UNECA)

Mr. Claver Gatete was appointed as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in October 2023, and took up his post on 1 November 2023. Prior to this, he served as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the UN from February 2022 until October 2023, where he also co-facilitated financing for development and global digital compact.
Mr. Gatete has served in various senior government positions for the Republic of Rwanda, notably as Minister of Infrastructure from 2018 to 2022, and as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning from 2013 to 2018. During this time, he was awarded the 2015 Finance Minister of the Year award at the African Bankers Awards on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meeting and the 2016 African Finance Minister of the Year by Global Capital on the sidelines of the World Bank Annual Meeting. He has also served as the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (2011 to 2013) and Deputy Governor from 2009 to 2011.
Mr. Gatete also served as Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland from November 2005 to December 2009. In the 1990s, he worked as an economist for Statistics Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and then at the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda as a National Economist.
He also served as the President’s Personal Representative on the NEPAD Steering Committee in the Office of the President of Rwanda, Coordinator of the National African Peer Review Mechanism, and Director General in Charge of Economic and Social Affairs in the Office of the President of Rwanda. He also served as the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Dr. Amany Asfour
Board Member

Dr. Amany Asfour graduated from Faculty of Medicine – Cairo University and had her Master Degree & M.D. degree in Pediatrics at the National Research Center of Egypt. She joined the private sector since she was a student at the Faculty of Medicine. Within a few years she was able to establish her company for Health Care Management and Medical equipment with more than 30 brands. She established the Egyptian Business Women Association in 1995 with the objectives of promoting young generations of Women Entrepreneurs & giving guidance to women business owners of Small & Medium enterprises, increasing role of women in the value chain and value addition. Dr. Asfour than established The Federation of Business & Professional Women BPW – Egypt and subsequently founded the African Alliance for Women Empowerment which has focal points all over Africa & its main target is Women Empowerment in Africa & establishing projects and marketing of products for women entrepreneurs and women owners of small & medium enterprises in the African continent for Africa's economic Growth and increasing Intra Africa Trade. Dr. Asfour is the founder and Chair of the African Congress for Women Entrepreneurs. Dr Asfour is also elected as the Chair of the FEMCOM-Egypt Federation of Business Women Associations in the COMESA Region (Common Market for Eastern & Southern African) .Dr Asfour was also elected as the Chair of the COMESA Business Council the apex Body of Private sector in COMESA and she is the first Woman to chair this organization for 2 terms till 2018. She currently serves as the Chairperson of the Interim Executive Bureau of the African Business Council (AfBC).

H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha
Board Member

H.E. Erastus Mwencha was Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission from 2008 to 2012. He 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. Prior to his election at the African Union Commission, he worked at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa for over 25 years and served as its Secretary General for 10 years. He contributed to the expansion of intra-COMESA trade, developing programmes for private sector cooperation and trade with the rest of world and leading regional hard and soft infrastructure programmes in transport, communication and energy. Mr Mwencha developed the continental negotiating position for the Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization, Economic Partnership Agreements, African Growth and Opportunity Act and actively supported programmes to integrate women in development. H.E. Mwencha has held several senior positions within the Ministry of Industry in Kenya.

Dr. Hakim Ben Hammouda
Board Member

H.E. Dr Hakim Ben Hammouda is a former Minister of Economy and Finance of Tunisia, and Member of CoDA Board of Directors. Dr Ben Hammouda served as Minister of Economy and Finance under the interim Prime Minister of Tunisia, Medhi Jomaa. He held several other positions, including as Special Adviser to the President of the African Development Bank, Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and Director of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation at the World Trade Organization.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Senior Adviser, Khazanah Research Institute

Jomo Kwame Sundaram is Senior Adviser, Khazanah Research Institute; Fellow, Academy of Science, Malaysia; Emeritus Professor, University of Malaya; Visiting Fellow, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University; and Visiting Professor, International Islamic University, Malaysia. He was a member of the Economic Action Council, chaired by the Malaysian Prime Minister, and the 5-member Council of Eminent Persons appointed by him. He was Professor, University of Malaya (1986-2004); Founder-Chair, International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs); UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development (2005-2012); Research Coordinator, G24 Intergovernmental Group on International Monetary Affairs and Development (2006-12); Assistant Director General for Economic and Social Development, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (2012-15); and third Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies, Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia (2016-17). He received the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.