World Bank: New Female Director for the Southern Africa Region

Ms Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly is the newly appointed World Bank Country Director for South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and Eswatini. She replaces Mr Paul Noumba Um and joins the Pretoria office on Monday 16 September 2019.


• Biography: 

Ms Marie-Nelly has extensive experience working in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan regions in countries with diverse set of contexts and different development needs and trajectories. Prior to taking up this post, Ms Marie-Nelly was Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta.


“I am excited by the move to the Southern Africa region,” said Ms Marie-Nelly. I look forward to deepening the World Bank engagement working together with government counterparts, key stakeholders including the youth and development partners to support countries’ efforts to achieve their development priorities in line with the World Bank’s goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity”.


Ms Marie-Nelly will focus on overseeing the World Bank's policy dialogue and strategic engagements with the governments and key partners and will lead the World Bank teams to identify innovative development solutions for all clients.


Since joining the World Bank in 1994, Ms Marie-Nelly has held a variety of positions focused on public enterprise restructuring, support to private sector development, regional integration, and management of the oil sector. Before assuming the position of World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta, Ms. Marie-Nelly held a number of leadership positions, including Country Director for Nigeria from 2011-2015, Country Director for the two Congo (Brazzaville and DRC) from 2008 to 2011, Director for the World Bank Group Program related to the Chad Petroleum and the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project from 2004 to 2007 and Director for the regional integration program in Africa from 2000 to 2004.


A French National from Martinique, Ms. Marie-Nelly is a Certified Public Accountant, a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Nantes (France) and Bowling Green University (Ohio, USA). She has also completed several management programs at Harvard University in the US. She worked for many international firms and was advisor to several governments before joining the World Bank.


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