The African Development Bank ( has appointed Desiré Jean-Marie Vencatachellum Senior Director of the Country Economics Department, effective 1st November 2023.

A Mauritian national and seasoned development banker, Vencatachellum has more than thirty years of experience in strategic leadership on development economics and finance issues, particularly in Africa. He has excelled in leading large and diverse teams interfacing with senior stakeholders to deliver on high-stakes mandates under tight deadlines. He is also recognized as a leader in raising and managing development capital.

Vencatachellum joined the African Development Bank Group in 2005 as a Principal Research Economist and since 2011 has served in senior positions, leading departments, such as Director of Research (2011-2012), Director of Operational Policies (2012-2013), and Director for Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department from 2013 until this appointment. In 2020 he received the Best Mentor Award from the Staff Council of the African Development Bank Group, in recognition of the career and professional guidance he has continuously provided to his colleagues and teams.

Over the past decade Vencatachellum has played a key role in resource mobilization and partnerships. Under his leadership, the 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group for 37 low- income African countries, reached the highest level ever at $8.9 billion in December 2022. The replenishment saw contributions from 31 donors. He also led the ADF-15 replenishment in which resources increased by 32%.

Vencatachellum has led, managed and overseen trust funds and special funds, and introduced many innovations. He led the development of the 2021 African Development Bank Group Trust Fund Policy, which prioritized multi-donor trust funds and ensured that all trust funds are fully aligned with the Bank’s strategic priorities. He pioneered a number of firsts such as establishing the Bank’s first Trust Fund with a foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust Fund, and framework agreements with the European Commission which since 2015 have led to the European Commission approvals of more than EUR 1 billion worth of co-financed projects and guarantee agreements.

As Director of the Research Department, Vencatachellum expanded coverage of the African Economic Outlook to all African countries. He conceived and led the team which implemented the pioneer ex-ante Additionality and Development Outcome Assessment (ADOA) of all non-sovereign operations at the African Development Bank. He has delivered high impact operational policies such as the Bank amended Credit Policy and the Bank Group Energy Policy.

Prior to joining the African Development Bank Group, Vencatachellum was at HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals in economic development, economic history, econometrics and research and development. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics (Queen’s University, Canada) and a Magistère Ingénieur Economiste (Université d’Aix Marseille II, France).

Commenting on his appointment, Vencatachellum said: “I would like to thank Dr. Adesina for appointing me to this position. I see it as an extraordinary opportunity to further position Africa’s premier development institution as the provider of knowledge- based solutions for a sustainable, inclusive and prosperous Africa. I look forward to working with senior management, talented and dedicated colleagues, and all stakeholders to help implement the president’s inspiring vision for the Bank and for Africa.”

The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said: “I am pleased to appoint Mr. Vencatachellum to the position of Senior Director, Country Economics Department. Mr. Vencatachellum has done an excellent job at raising development capital for the African Development Bank. His expertise spans development economics, economic policy and policy dialogue, country-level studies, resource mobilization, project finance and development effectiveness. I am confident that he will bring this blended and extensive experience to bear on strengthening the country economic analysis underpinning the Bank’s support to economic reforms in regional member countries, with a view to improving support to economic reforms in regional member countries, with a view to improving the development impact of this support.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Amba Mpoke-Bigg
Communication and External Relations Department

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: