Dr. Celestine Monga is the Vice-President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management and Chief Economist, African Development Bank Group. He graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Sorbonne in Paris, was a Mason Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, followed by additional graduate work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, and completed his PhD in France at the University of Pau, France.
At UNIDO, he has served as the Managing Director at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Vice-Chair of the Strategy Committee and helped reposition the Organization as an indispensable stakeholder in the implementation of the 2030 Global Agenda.
He joined the World Bank in 1997 where he held positions in both the operations and research departments, including as Lead Economist in Europe and Central Asia, and as Manager of the policy review team in the Development Economics Vice Presidency. He has served as Senior Economic Advisor (Director-level) to the World Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. He was also the Senior Advisor (Director-level) for structural transformation in the offices of the Vice President for Africa and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.
During his 17-year career at the World Bank, Monga pioneered several policy initiatives, including the very first debt relief operation to the executive boards of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the initiative for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in 1997. He also led the team that designed the first Deferred Drawdown Option, a convenient financial instrument that many middle-income countries now use to hedge against macro-financial external shocks.
He has held various board and senior executive positions in academia, financial services and international development institutions and is a world-renowned economist and acclaimed author, scholar and innovator. He was named as one of Africa’s top five economists by Jeune Afrique weekly news magazine in 2012. He has published cutting-edge analytical and policy-oriented economic work with some of the world’s most renowned economists, including Nobel Prize winners in economics, amongst other leading economists.
He has worked effectively with African government leaders, international and other corporate entities to design and implement practical and realistic policy reforms. He has a strong record of intellectual leadership and has demonstrated the ability to provide senior management and client countries with integrated, innovative approaches to resolving complex and sensitive economic policy, strategy and development issues.
His works have been featured and acclaimed in many international media outlets, including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the New York Times, Finance and Development, Les Echos, Le Monde, The Guardian and Brasil Economico.