Abdul B. Kamara is a development economist with over two decades of professional experience in development policy research, development financing and policy work geared towards Africa’s economic transformation. He holds a Ph.D. (magna cum laude) in agricultural economics and rural development from the University of Göttingen in Germany. Kamara has further professional education in Regulation of Financial Markets from the London School of Economics, and executive education in Public Financial Management from Harvard University (Kennedy School). He has served in technical, senior managerial and high-level representational positions, including 6 years at the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), 13 years at the African Development Bank (AfDB), and one year as Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations, serving as Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR) for the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Thus over two decades, Kamara has deepened his knowledge and strategic thinking about models for Africa’s economic transformation and development options.
At the Bank, he has served as Senior Agricultural Economist in the Agriculture and Agro- Industry Department for 2 years (2004–2007) and 4 years as Manager of the Research Division (2007–2010), and most recently for nearly for 6 years as Resident Representative for Sudan where he plays a lead role in setting the Bank’s strategic priorities and takes responsibility for the investment operations (2011–2017). His responsibility in Sudan included South Sudan for two years until end 2012. As Research Manager, he led a team of professionals conducting research on Africa’s contemporary development challenges, including the global the food and the financial crisis, Africa’s competitiveness, economic transformation and growth prospects.
Earlier in his career, Kamara held various technical positions at key Centres of the CGIAR, notably as Research Scientist at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), working on water resource policies in Southern Africa and later West Africa, and as joint Research Associate at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, Addis Ababa), working on livestock and land use policies in the Southern Rangelands of Ethiopia. In 2002, he became the 1st Sierra Leonean (and 4th African) laureate of Germany’s prestigious Josef G. Knoll Science Award 2002 for his research work at the CGIAR. In 2006 he won the Bank’s Vice Presidency Merit Award 2006 for his contribution to Agricultural Sector Operations and in 2016 his team won the AfDB President’s INNOPitch Award 2016 for thought leadership.