Finance Minister Amara Konneh has been elected chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI). According to a Finance Minister release, Minister Konneh was unanimously elected last Tuesday at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders and Board of Directors of LBDI at the Bank’s 9th Street Corporate head office in Sinkor, Monrovia.
He replaces Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan, who served the post since 2010. More than 73% of shareholders attended Tuesday’s Meeting. The AGM also occasioned the election of new board members to include Public Works Minister Kofi Woods; National Social Security & Welfare Corporation’s Director General Francis Karbah; David Johnson, James S. P. Cooper, Madam Nou Hoff and John B. S. Davies, CEO of LBDI, among others.
A seat on the LBDI Board was, however, reserved for the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) based in Lome, Togo. According to the release, the new LBDI Board has a mandate to provide strategic direction to the Bank’s management and to ensure that the Bank’s key budgeted deliverables are implemented.
A new comer on the LBDI Board, Minister Konneh, becomes the 23rd Board Chairperson of LDBI since the Bank was founded by an act of Legislature in 1961 under the joint initiative of the Liberian Government and several international financial institutions, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that bought equity in the Bank.
His election comes at a time when the LBDI management is seeking to increase its focus on the Bank’s founding objective of development banking. “We are humbled and honored by the confidence our colleagues have placed in us. We look forward to working with all board members to make LBDI a truly Liberian development bank,” said Chairman Konneh.
LBDI President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John B. S. Davies, expressed joy at Konneh’s election, stressing :“I am excited to work with my new boss who happens to be the new board chair, in person of Finance Minister Amara Konneh.”
Mr. Davies recalled that he had known Minister Konneh for sometimes; noting that he had had cordial working relations with him. “I have no doubt that he will provide the wisdom and the strategic direction that will move LBDI forward,” Davies noted.
He also used the occasion to salute former board chair Augustine Ngafuan, noting that Minister Ngafuan had been committed to moving LBDI forward and ensuring that the Bank remained atop of other banks. “Former Chairman Ngafuan was very committed and diligent in a very special way and we wish him God’s speed,” the LBDI CEO added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Davies has indicated that the shareholders have maintained confidence in the management and operation of the Bank. “They provide strategic decisions to the Board and the Board conveys those decisions to the management for action,” Davie disclosed. LBDI commenced operations in 1965 as Liberian Bank for Industrial Development and Investment.
But an amendment in 1974 resulted in a change in the Bank’s name to the Liberian Bank for Development & Investment (LBDI). A further amendment in 1988 allowed the Bank to engage in commercial banking activities, to complement its development objectives.
LBDI’s total asset is estimated at about US$130 million. The Bank is the only bank in Liberia that is being operated by 100% Liberian staff. Former Board Chairman Ngafuan presided over Tuesday’s meeting, which was also attended by former LBDI General Manager and Deputy CEO Mrs. Mildred Reeves, and former Board Chair Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, to mention only a few.
LBDI Deputy CEO Gloria Menjor read the results of the vote results for elected board members and the new Board Chair.