Thomas Zondo Sakala

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Thomas Zondo Sakala
Personal details
Born (1955-03-03) 3 March 1955 (age 63)
Marange, Zimbabwe
NationalityFlag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Alma mater University of Ibadan
University of Sussex in the United Kingdom
Profession International civil servant

Thomas Zondo Sakala (born 3 March 1955) is an experienced Zimbabwean economist and development banker. He is the former Vice-President of the African Development Bank in charge of Country and Regional Programmes (as of October 2014). [1] He was the SADC nominee for the Presidency of the African Development Bank (AfDB) [2] [3]

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) or Banque Africaine de Développement (BAD) is a multilateral development finance institution. The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. The AfDB's mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the continent through promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs that are likely to contribute to the economic and social development of the region. The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC). While it was originally headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, the bank's headquarters moved to Tunis, Tunisia, in 2003, due to the Ivorian civil war; before returning in September 2014.

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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 16 southern African states.


Early life and career

Thomas Zondo Sakala holds a B.Sc. (Hons) and an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He also undertook research work on the anticipated challenges of land and agricultural transformation in post-independent Zimbabwe at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. His early years were spent in rural Zimbabwe where he attended primary and secondary school.

The University of Ibadan (UI) is the oldest Nigerian university, and is located five miles from the centre of the major city of Ibadan in Western Nigeria. It is popularly known as Unibadan or UI.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.

Prior to joining the AfDB, Sakala worked three years as Senior Research and Principal Planning Officer in the newly created Ministry of Manpower Planning and Development in Zimbabwe, which carried out Zimbabwe's first post-independence National Manpower Survey. He was part of the Survey's central coordinating team and was one of the architects of its major policy recommendations, many of which were implemented by the Government.

Career With the African Development Bank

Zondo Sakala has worked in, and with, African countries all through his professional career. He left the African Development Bank in October 2014. His last official position was Vice-President, Country and Regional Programmes. In that capacity he was a member of the Senior Management Team of the Bank led by President Kaberuka, contributing to its overall strategic direction and institutional performance.

Donald Kaberuka Rwandan economist

Donald P. Kaberuka is a Rwandan economist and was the president of the African Development Bank from September 2005 until September 2015.

During his rich career at the Bank, spanning 31 years, he worked in most of the operational and institutional areas of the institution. He visited and worked on many development projects across the continent in agriculture, education and skills development, health, infrastructure (transport and communications, water and sanitation, energy), capacity building and governance. Besides his country of origin, he has lived in Côte d'Ivoire, Tunisia and the UK. He also lived in Nigeria, including four years as the Bank's country representative.

In his last position As Vice-President, he had broad oversight of the dialogue between the Bank and all African countries. His responsibilities included coordination of the preparation and approval of the country and regional strategies and programming in Africa. It also involved developing appropriate operational policies, inter alia, on integrity in procurement and fiduciary arrangements; the Bank’s strategy for its work in fragile states; and overseeing the proper implementation of policies, strategies and guidelines on gender, environment, climate change, safeguards and transition to green economies. He had shared responsibility for resource mobilization for the Bank’s soft-window (the African Development Fund) and partnerships with donor countries.

Areas of Major Contributions

Key Operational and Budgetary Reforms: during the four years he was in charge of the Programming and Budget Department, the Bank's administrative budget grew by about US$140 million.

Setting up and managing Country and Regional Offices under Decentralisation Programme, thus bringing the Bank closer to its clients.

Resident Representative in Nigeria, the Bank's largest shareholder, a donor through the NTF and Ecowas Headquarters Shared responsibility over the Bank's resource mobilization efforts under the ADF.13 Replenishment

SADC Candidate as AfDB President

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) selected T.Z. Sakala as its candidate for African Development Bank Presidency in the elections on May 28, 2015. He lost the presidential race.

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  1. "Organisational Structure". African Development Bank. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  2. "Zimbabwe : Zondo Thomas Sakala, candidat à la présidence de la BAD". Financial Afrik (in French). 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  3. "ZBC News Online". Retrieved 2017-11-16.