Rufus Darkortey Makes History -Elected New AfDB Executive Director

Liberians are noted for always making history, often for the right reasons. In 1995, at the peak of his footballing career, a young George Weah became the first and only African to win the prestigious World Best award. In 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first female president of Africa when she won the presidential elections in Liberia.

Following the trend, Mr. Rufus N. Darkortey has joined the pantheon of young Liberian professionals by climbing the rungs of the multilateral ladder. The highly qualified economist was elected on May 26, 2022 to serve the African Development Bank (AfDB) as Executive Director in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, after President George Manneh Weah had approved his nomination on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Mr. Darkortay who comes to the job with a wealth of experience, was already employed with the AfDB as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the Constituency from 2018 to 2019. He also served as the Alternate Executive Director at the Bank from 2020 up to his election as Executive Director on May 26, 2022.

Mr. Darkortey’s new portfolio as the Executive Director for the Constituency means he will be representing The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan; and will serve as one of the 20 Board of Directors of the Bank representing 81 countries from across the world to steer the affairs of the Bank.

Prior to working with the Bank, Mr. Darkortey served as the Senior Economic and Policy Advisor in the Office of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., with focus on fostering economic, fiscal, monetary, and other development related matters of the country, including public and private sector stakeholders engagements, both at the national and international levels to facilitate the coordination, formulation and implementation of the country’s development plan, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

He is a seasoned economist and a financial and development professional with more than 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors, including multilateral and commercial institutions.

The new AfDB Executive Director also worked with the Forest City Real Estate Trust (a leading commercial and residential real estate development, management, and servicing company with $8 billion in assets); KeyBank NA (10th largest bank in the U.S. with $136 billion in assets); and the State of Ohio Human Services Department (serving over 11 million people in that State).

His professional experiences include economic development, infrastructure and real estate development; revenue performance management and domestic resources mobilization; fiscal and monetary policy framework formulation and management; budgetary and resource allocations; domestic and international trade management; small, medium, and large-sized enterprise development and investment.

 From October 2010 to present, Darkortey served the  Liberia Economic Development Initiative (LEDI), a  Liberia/U.S-based Non-profit Organization, as CEO and President.

LEDI is a non-profit organization that is supporting the construction of modern infrastructural and economic development; small business development; youth scholarship; and foreign direct investments in Liberia. Current projects include modern state of the art public library construction in Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia; annual youth academic scholarships, small business training and micro-business grants and the provision of other philanthropic aid.

As Compliance Accountant/Analyst for the Pilothouse Advisors based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Darkortey, from January 2017 to March 2018, provided financial advisory and consultancy services to clients to drive their business solutions. Provided capital markets, risk management, and financial analysis solutions; analyzed, evaluated, and prepared materials for capital markets transactions; utilized market knowledge to prepare and manage various comparables for clients’ financial transactions; analyzed financial reports of clients to identify market trends for fund investments; and identified and mitigated various risk segments of clients’ line of business, including compliance, operational, market, and strategic risks.

Mr. Darkortey holds a Master’s and a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Economics from the Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, the United States of America; and an Associate Degree in Computer Science from the A.M.E. Zion Community College in Monrovia, Liberia (Cum Laude).

    The African Development Bank Group (AfDB or ADB) or Banque Africaine de Développement (BAD) is a multilateral development finance institution headquartered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, since September 2014.The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC).

The AfDB was founded in 1964 by the Organization of African Unity, which is the predecessor of the African Union. The AfDB comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund.

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