Liberia: LBDI CEO John Davies Ends Tenure as West Africa Bankers Association’s Leadership

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The president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), John B. S. Davies, III, on Thursday, July 29, turned over the mantle of leadership to Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank for Economic Development (BNDE) as the new President of the West Africa Bankers Association (WABA).  Mr. Nourou Sy is also the president of the Senegal Bankers Association.

Also elected were Madam Aina Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Sierra Leone and President of the Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Banks (SLCB) as first Vice President, and Dr.  Gury Lurent Fongo, Chief Executive Officer of Afriland First Bank of Guinea and president of Guinea Bankers Association as the second Vice President.

WABA, which brings together banks of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), both Anglophone and Francophone is a professional association that strengthens links between banks in the region, to enable the exchange of information and to identify possibilities of capacity building for senior bankers. It also provides support and promotes the West African Clearing House (WACH) as a means of enhancing intra-regional trade.

Mr. Davies, who chaired the 75th meeting of the Executive Council and the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the General Assembly of WABA, said the ceremony, which was hosted by Dakar, Senegal was graced virtually by the Minister of Finance of Senegal and Governor of the Central Bank of Senegal, respectively.

Also gracing the occasion, according to him, was the Director-General of the West African Monetary Agency, President of the Nigerian Export Bank (Nexim) and President of the Nigerian Bankers Association as well as President of the Federation Association of Banks in Francophone West Africa. 

Mr. Davies, who served WABA for two consecutive years, expressed profound gratitude to his colleagues for the level of support he received during his tenure as president of the association.

At that meeting, the outgoing President noted that WABA officials approved their quality accounts, the tenure of secretary-general was renewed for one year and the recruitment process for the new secretary-general took place as well as recruitment for their Programs Director.

“The election of Nourou Sy as the new President of WABA represents for me a big sense of accomplishment because he was my first Vice President and principal deputy in WABA. He is someone who I trust and has the confidence of the executive committee so it is a test to study stability within the WABA leadership,” Mr. Davies added while outlining some of his legacy at the association.

He continued: “The beauty about yesterday is that for a long time WABA has been a representation of Anglophone West Africa but under our tenure, we have put in place a strategy and framework to bring both French West Africa and English West Africa back into WABA, which was a big accomplishment exemplified yesterday by the Governor of the French West Africa Central Bank who also attended the convention virtually.”

According to him, the election of Mr. Nourou Sy as president of WABA has never happened and this is the first of its kind to have the French Central Banks Governor gracing their occasion and making remarks.

“My being in the banking industry of West Africa has been the one that will give me fond memories and first is WABA, the next will be the LIBA where I will be in that capacity for the next eight years as the longest-serving president—that transition we will be managing very soon. I am in my sunset in banking,” he said.

Mr. Davies also disclosed that the President of the French Association of Commercial Banks in West Africa also attended that occasion, which in itself was a huge success for him at the level of WABA.

He said one of his top achievements is putting in place the framework to have a unified region the association and ensuring that we all of our colleagues are on board, which is something his leadership have been working on despite the impact of COVID-19, among others.

“For us in Liberia, we are very proud that our country was able to head WABA and chaired the affairs for two years and turned it over to Senegal successfully,” said Mr. Davies with a smile.

He used the occasion to appreciate the new leadership for giving him the title of honorary President of WABA.

According to him, they value his contribution and still want him on board to help them with the running of the affairs of the association, which he commits himself to do.

“I am going to be giving a lot of support morally as well as a human endeavor in making sure that he succeeds for the sake of our region. So the new President made it very clear to me that he wants me by his side when he is making those rounds,” he said.

At the same time, Mr. Davies also disclosed that there are two major key things that the West Africa region is working towards right now, which include the West African Payment System–that integrates all the West African economy and the West African Single Currency in both cases, WABA is critical to those developments.

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