Sierra Leone’s Dr. Samura Kamara will be the jewel in the AfDB’s crown

Dr. Samura Kamara, one of the most celebrated Sierra Leoneans and a truly distinguished son of the land, will be blazing the trail to international accomplishment when he is hopefully elected as President of the African Development Bank ( AfDB ) this year  — A hallowed distinction that Sierra Leoneans and many Africans, who have followed his magnificent public service,  agree is a fitting denouement  for another  gifted and experienced Sierra Leonean determined to leave indelible footprints in the sands of international stewardship.

Dr. Samura Kamara is not only richly studded with the academic excellence befitting the presidency of the AfDB but he has a surfeit of organizational skills and proven inspirational leadership and experience  that have blessed the financial institutions and ministries he has served and help mold  them   into viable  institutions .There is no doubt that he will be the crown in the AfDB’s jewel with an accomplished performance , characteristic of other distinguished Sierra Leoneans who have served the international world .


Dr. Kamara hails from a country that has produced record -making international public servants like Dr. Monty Jones (  the renowned plant breeder and former Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), who won the coveted  2004 international  World Food Prize for his discovery of the genetic process to create new rice very rich in protein contents and capable of providing  higher yields and shorter growth cycles ) , Dr. Zainab Bangura , the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, who brought a new impressive dimension and impetus to the job that has won her and her nation prodigious international acclaim ) , Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, who has been a veritable revelation at the UN as the Under-Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All ,  CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative,  Chairman of  UN-Energy and a two-term former Director-General of  UNIDO,  the United Nations Industrial Development Organization ), Justice Abdul G. Koroma , the pace-setting jurist, who made a name for himself and his nation as Judge of the International Court of Justice ) , Dr. Abdulai Conteh ( who achieved international stardom for his sterling performance as Chief Justice of Belize , Justice of the Court of Appeal of Cayman Islands and the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas ).


In his fascinating career as a public servant, Dr. Kamara has used his intellectual capacity and his professional and managerial proficiency to turn around and make into worthy   bastions of smooth functioning and viable entities the financial institutions and ministries he has served, during which he has accrued the immense professional experience he hopes to use at the AfDB   to make it a very strong and profitable institution.

Because of his amazing job performance, Dr. Samura Kamara has lived a life of rapid promotions. He served as Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone during the reign of the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1997 ; He was elevated  in 2009 by President Ernest Koroma to the position of Minister of Finance , where he served creditably before he was further elevated to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in 2012.

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The first thing that those of us who have worked with him will tell you about him is that he is a very pleasant, engaging , intelligent  man with a serious demeanor and magnificent work ethic , which he strives to infuse into those around him. He is a motivator par excellence who  seeks to draw out the best in his employees. He is a very good mixer, excellent communicator  and consensus-builder , which have helped him excel as a marvelous negotiator and diplomat.
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Pictures tell the story of a million words. Here is a photo of diplomats and delegates lined up to shake hands with the Minister after impressively addressing the UN General Assembly last year. 

The humble and quick-smiling economic professional and outstanding diplomat has achieved  commendable reviews in the Sierra Leone media on account of his excellent performance as a public servant. The Awoko newspaper on September 1, 2014, said of him :

 “The past leadership including President’s Kabbah and Koroma believe in Dr. Samura Kamara to work for them especially in the Finance Ministry because he is equipped to meet the challenges of our economic growth. During his time, he brought down inflation to single digit level, brought sanity in the foreign exchange and was able to fight corruption.”

“He brought respect to our country, negotiated with the foreign partners for better loan arrangements and he is very respected by the Exim Bank officials during the negotiations for the Regent  Grafton Road, the new Airport and the Hainan Rubber Company.
On Sierra Leone’s foreign policy, he has proved that he can still push the country to higher heights by rebranding the country in the international stage, which he has done in the past one year. He is highly respected by the international donor agencies and foreign governments. It is this economic background that may well have convinced the President that he will be suited for the Foreign Ministry, as he has placed more emphasis on economic growth, international investment and trade to further the concept of ‘Sierra Leone is open for business.”

The Cocorioko Newspaper on September 29, 2014 wrote of him :

 “Sierra Leone’s Dr. Samura Kamara was overwhelmed by surging crowds of diplomats and delegates who were coming to hug and shake hands with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation after a well-delivered statement this evening on behalf of President Ernest Koroma at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Foreign Minister’s statement went down well with the thousands of delegates and diplomats attending the General Assembly. “

The Awareness Times Newspaper on December 7, 2007 , had this to say about Dr. Samura Kamara :

 “Dr. Samura Kamara enjoyed the ears of President Kabbah because of his frankness and professional competence. He was sort of an Economic Advisor to President Kabbah. Dr. Samura Kamara was highly respected in the Ministry of Finance and in the World Bank and IMF.”

 “He was a core member of the Finance Committee, set up by President Kabbah, to scrutinize government’s expenditure and other financial commitments. The appointment of Dr. Samura Kamara as Governor of the Central Bank was done purely on the advice of major international donor countries and members of the Bretton Woods Institution.” 

President Koroma’s media adviser, Oswald Hanciles, writing in various newspapers in August 2013 , said of Dr. Kamara :

 “A seasoned professional, Dr. Samura Kamara had been a ‘finance man’ for about forty years. He has worked at senior levels in the IMF , World Bank, and Commonwealth finance offices; he was the Financial Secretary in the SLPP government of President Tejan Kabbah; Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone and finance minister in the APC government of President Koroma).”

 “Dr. Samura Kamara is reputed to be one of the brains that were instrumental in the “reform” of the revenue sectors of government, leading to the merger of the income tax and customs revenue agencies that engendered the National Revenue Authority. “

Indeed, when they elect him as President in the forthcoming institutional  elections, The AfDB will be bringing into their fold a man of brains who would definitely inspire reforms that would further embellish the bank’s credentials as a feasible and thriving continental financial powerhouse.

The AfDB , in its website, says it is building today for a better Africa .  There is no better man to help carry the bank’s mantle of lofty ideals and agenda than Dr. Samura Kamara, a quintessential economic expert, prime mover  and a cogent and productive public servant and diplomat whose success will transcend the barriers of the African continent into the international sphere. He has the academic and professional endowment and the work experience to be the toast of the august international financial institution, as he has been in all the institutions and ministries he has served.


Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu

Minister Plenipotentiary / C-10 Coordinator,

New York


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