The International Advisory Group (IAG)

The IAG of the Research Project on ‘Inclusive Finance’ consists of international eminent persons from across four types of stakeholders:

  • Policy makers with first rate experience relating to financial sector reforms, in particular, and broad economic reforms, in general;

  • Private sector practitioners who have been (or are currently) involved in business transformation that aims to enhance livelihoods in low income African countries

  • Civil society and other third sector actors who are actively involved in monitoring the interplay between international and local developments that shape policy and practice in financial inclusion

  • Top researchers who have the experience or are currently involved in cutting-edge work in economics, finance or interdisciplinary investigations

Hon Dr Louis Rene Peter Larose

Dr. Larose, a citizen of Seychelles is the current Minister of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning of the Republic of Seychelles. He assumed this new position effective on November 1st 2016. He was a former Executive Director of the World Bank Group  (WBG) comprise of; (i) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), (ii) International Finance for Corporation (IFC), (iii) International Development Association (IDA), and (iv) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) based in Washington DC, USA from November 1 2014 to October 31st 2016.

He joined the World Bank Group (WBG) in September 2008 as an Advisor. In 2010, he was promoted to Senior Advisor, and assumed the position of Alternate Executive Director in 2012. He was elected the Executive Director in 2014. During his 2-year term as Executive Director of African Group 1 Constituency, he represented 22 African countries namely; Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

He was also a member of the World Bank Group (WBG) Human Resources Committee (HRC) and the Committee of Development Effectiveness (CODE) respectively. On HRC committee, he was a strong advocate on staff welfare, diversity and inclusion agenda. As for CODE, he advocated for WBG to promote sound corporate governance principles at the highest management levels in terms of; transparency, equal opportunity for all, responsibility, and accountability as a precursor for greater development impact for all WBG member countries. Dr Larose was honoured during the 2016 International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings with joint first prize award from CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation a group of International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and World Bank Information Centre (BIC) for the promotion of his office transparency. He was the Chairman of the Group Eleven (G11+ 2) of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group (WBG) comprised of eleven developing and two emerging countries – Seychelles, China, Brazil, India, Angola, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Kuwait, Djibouti, Chile, and Pakistan. Dr. Larose was a major contributor to the World Bank Group (WBG) revision of its Environmental and Social Safeguard Framework (ESSF) after 40 years in existence. He played a key role in the 2015 Shareholding Review and the on-going work on Dynamic Formula in ensuring that the Developing and Transition Countries (DTCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs) do not face dilution in their voting powers. Dr. Larose represents the Republic of Seychelles as the Governor of the World Bank Group (WBG), International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (AfDB), The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank).

He brings a wealth of experience from both the public and the private sectors including knowledge in central banking gained in his previous position as the General Manager of Central Bank of Seychelles. As a professional in international banking and finance, he holds the following qualifications and memberships; Associate of the Association of International Accountants (AAIA) UK, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB) UK, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI) UK, MBA (International Banking & Finance) UK, Member of American Economic Association, USA, Member of International Banking, Economics and Finance Association, USA, Member of the Institute of International Finance (through World Bank Group (WBG)). He earned his PhD in Commercial Banking from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom with his thesis “Modelling of Corporate Credit Risk, Banks’ Stock Returns, and the Effect of Risk-Based Capital Standards on the UK Commercial Banks”.

As a member of the international academic association, Dr. Larose has written a series of papers published in reputable journals. He is a regular contributor and participant in international conferences on finance and banking subjects.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey

Professor Ernest Aryeetey is the first Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).  He oversees the activities of ARUA from his base at the University of Ghana, where until recently, he was the Vice-Chancellor. His main responsibility is to establish relations with key stakeholders and funders of research at African universities and to advocate for the importance of research-intensive universities for the continent. Also, he is a member of the Governing Council of the United Nations University, a think-thank of the United Nations systems. He is a former director of the Africa Growth Initiative of the Brookings Institution. Professor Aryeetey has held academic posts at SOAS University of London, Yale, Cornell and Swarthmore.

His research focuses on the economics of development with interest in institutions and their role in development, regional integration, economic reforms, financial systems in support of development and small enterprise development. Recognised for his work on informal finance and microfinance in Africa, Aryeetey has consulted for and advises a broad range of international agencies. He has published three books, seven edited volumes, and numerous journal articles. Among his publications are Financial Integration and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Economic Reforms in Ghana: the Miracle and the Mirage.

Professor Manuel Arellano

Manuel Arellano is Professor of Economics at CEMFI in Madrid. Prior to that, he held appointments at the University of Oxford (1985-89) and the London School of Economics (1989-91). He is a graduate of the University of Barcelona and holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He has served as Editor of the Review of Economic Studies (1994-98), Co-Editor of the Journal of Applied Econometrics (2006-08), and Co-Chair of the World Congress of the Econometric Society (2010). He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been President of the Spanish Economic Association (2003), President of the European Economic Association (2013), and President of the Econometric Society (2014). He has published many research papers on topics in econometrics and labour economics, in particular on the analysis of panel data, being named a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson ISI (2010). He is the author of Panel Data Econometrics (Oxford University Press 2003). He has received the Rey Jaime I Prize in Economics (2012).

Mrs Sheila M'Mbijjewe

Mrs Sheila M’Mbijjewe is the Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Kenya. Before her current position, Mrs M’Mbijjewe held high level executive positions in policy and practitioner circles in banking and finance. She was the first woman to be appointed executive director of a publicly quoted commercial bank in Kenya. She has served as a board member in several companies, including the Capital Markets Authority, the Nairobi Stock Exchange, Old Mutual Insurance Company Kenya, the Financial Reporting Centre of Kenya, Pricewaterhouse Kenya and Deloitte Touché Kenya. Mrs M’Mbijjewe was a founding member of the Monetary Policy Committee and the Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act Advisory Committee of Kenya. In 2008 she was awarded the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS), a Presidential medal for service to her country.

Dr Caleb Fundanga

Caleb Fundanga is the Executive Director of the Macro Economic and Financial Management Institute (MEFMI) for Eastern and Southern Africa.  Prior to joining MEFMI, he worked as Governor of the Bank of Zambia for the period 2002 to 2011. Among the many accolades bestowed upon him during this period were; Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa and Global award by the Banker Magazine, a sister publication to the Financial Times of London in January 2007, Emerging Markets Magazine award of African Central Bank Governor of the Year 2007 which he received in Washington D.C. In September 2007, he was also awarded the African Central Bank Governor of the Year 2008 by the Annual Meetings Daily of Nigeria

Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu

John Ddumba-Ssentamu is Professor of Economics and Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. He is a former Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management, which later merged with the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics to form the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), where he also served as the first Acting Principal. As a Vice-Chancellor, he is responsible for the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Centenary Bank, the second-largest indigenous commercial bank in Uganda; during his tenure in this role, the bank has grown from a small microfinance institution into the second-largest indigenous commercial bank in Uganda. He is widely published in the field of Economics. At the international level, he represents Africa on the Finance Committee of Caritas International based in the Vatican and is a member of the Micro Finance Institutions Network in Africa. Also, he has served as a consultant to various national and international organisations, including some United Nations agencies such as UNDP, FAO, WHO and WFP.

Professor Clas Wihlborg

Clas Wihlborg is Research Professor and Dean Scholar in International Business at the Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University and Visiting Professor at the University West, Sweden. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University in 1977. He held faculty positions at New York University and the University of Southern California before returning to Sweden in 1990 to become the Felix Neubergh Professor in Banking and Finance at Gothenburg University. In 2000 he became Professor of Finance at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) where he was the Director of the Center for Law, Economics and Financial Institutions (LEFIC). His research and teaching activities have focused on Financial Institutions, International Finance, and Corporate Finance. Publications include numerous journal articles as well as books. He is the co-editor of Handbook in Research on International Banking and Governance (coedited with Chen Lin and James Barth), Edwin Elgars, 2012. He is a member of the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee since 1998 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). He received an Honorary Doctorate at Lund University in 2008

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Mr Athelston ‘Tony’ Sealey, OBE

Athelston ‘Tony’ Sealey is Managing Director of Canefield Ltd a company operating a number of “franchised restaurants” in partnership with McDonald’s Restaurants Limited over the past 20 years. He was educated at the University of Aston in Birmingham where he gained a BA and MSc, respectively in Government and Public Administration, and held various positions in Local Government before leaving the service to start his own business in 1987. He was until recently the Chair of one of the UK largest business support organisations, 3b, a Local Enterprise Agency for some 20 years. He served as a member of the UK Government’s Small Business Access to Finance Expert Group for 6 years; also for 6 years was a member of the West Midlands Access to Finance For Small Business Working Group. For a seven year period from 2000 was a “market champion” for the Caribbean region working with the UK Government Agency United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI). Tony has acted as the “Business Lead” on many Trade Missions in partnership with UKTI to the Caribbean, Africa, North America and Europe and has worked for the European Union (EU) as a Specialist Advisers on matters concerning migrant communities and Enterprise. In June 2007 he was appointed as an Officer of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his outstanding contribution to development of businesses and his support for communities in the West Midlands region.

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Professor Njuguna S. Ndung'u

Professor Njuguna S. Ndung'u is the new Executive Director of African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), effective from 1 September 2018. He is the former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, a position he occupied for two consecutive four-year terms, from March 2007 until March 2015. Ndung'u was the director of training at the African Economic Research Consortium. He also worked as a regional programme specialist for the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, of the International Development Research Centre, Canada; and at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis as a principal analyst/researcher and head of the Macroeconomic and Economic Modelling Division. He lectured in advanced economic theory and econometrics at the University of Nairobi. In addition, he has published widely in international journals as well as chapters in various books on economic policy issues. He was the chair of Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) AFI) now based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in the first four formative years between 2009 and 2012, it has coordinated financial inclusion solutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. AFI has been described as a ‘clearing house’ for policy solutions that have worked and can be replicated with ease in other countries for financial inclusion He also chaired of the African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI), a sub-network of AFI that promotes financial inclusion in Africa via the mobile phone financial services.

Dr Ralph De Haas

Ralph De Haas is the Director of Research at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), based in London. Prior to joining the EBRD, Ralph worked at the Banking Supervision and Monetary Policy Departments of the Dutch central bank. Ralph holds a PhD in Economics from Utrecht University and is currently a part-time Associate Professor of Finance at Tilburg University. His main research interests include international banking and financial integration, development economics, and small-business finance.

Mme Kanny Diallo

Mme Kanny Diallo is the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Republic of Guinea, Conakry. A Guinean development economist with a career in several major international institutions, Mama Diallo is focused on using her competence and expertise to support economic recovery and job creation in Guinea and to accelerate the development process of the country. She follows actively the economic and financial developments in Guinea and the rest of Francophone Africa, in relations to the rest of the world, especially in terms of opportunities and challenges for policy makers and practitioners. Prior to joining the Guinean government, she held the position of Chief Development Officer of the African Development Institute (ADI) at the African Development Bank (AfDB) from 2005 to 2015. From 1995 to 2005, she was Senior Economist of the Northern Region Operations Department (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Libya), within the AfDB. From 1986 to 1994, she had held several positions in various departments of the same institution, as a Senior Economist and then as Program Officer. She began her career in 1981 as a Technical Assistant to the Board of Directors and the Africa Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, and later as Research Assistant in the External Debt Division, Department of Projections and macroeconomic analyzes of the World Bank, Washington DC, 1985-1986.

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Dr Kaifala Marah

Dr Kaifala Marah is the former Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone. He served as Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Sierra Leone from Dec. 2012 to March 2016. He is known for introducing discipline in budget execution and economic management reforms. He is Chair of the G7+ (as association led by finance ministers of 20 fragile and post-conflict states) and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and State Building. He also served on the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender from 2013 to 2015. He also served as public expenditure management adviser at the commonwealth secretariat in London. Dr Marah has been active in economic policy circles for transitioning Sierra Leone: He served as State House chief of staff and senior economic advisor to Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma from 2010 until his appointment as Minister of Finance in 2012.

Dr Jo Marie Griesgraber

Dr Jo Marie Griesgraber is the Executive Director of the New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, a Washington-based international network of activists and researchers concerned with reforms of the international financial architecture. Previously, Dr. Griesgraber was Director of Policy at Oxfam America where she supervised advocacy programs on international trade, humanitarian response, global funding for basic education and extractive industries. Before that, she directed the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project at the Center of Concern, a Jesuit related social justice research center, where she worked on reform of the World Bank, regional development banks and International Monetary Fund. She has taught political science at Georgetown University, Goucher College and American University, and was Deputy Director of the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights lobby office. She chaired Jubilee 2000/USA's Executive Committee and edited, with Bernhard Gunter, the five volume Rethinking Bretton Woods series.

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Dr Martin Brownbridge

Martin Brownbridge has served as the Economic Advisor to the Governor of the Bank of Uganda (BOU) since 2009, where he has assisted the BOU to introduce its inflation targeting monetary policy framework, establish a Financial Stability Department and implement the Basel III reforms. He has a Phd from the University of Manchester and has also worked in Belize, Ghana, the Gambia and Tajikistan providing technical assistance on macroeconomics, monetary policy, fiscal policy and financial regulation. He has published papers in refereed journals on bank regulation, bank resolution, fiscal policy and monetary policy.