- Course: MSc Transport Economics
- Year of graduation: 1984
- Nationality: Tunisian
- Job title: Chief Infrastructure Economist
- Company: African Development Bank (AfDB)
I am currently Chief Infrastructure Economist for the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa’s premier international development finance institution. The AfDB supports African countries to achieve sustainable development, not through aid but targeted financial and technical assistance and support across a diversity of sectors which include transport, energy, ICT, higher education and private sector development among others.
I am part of the senior technical team of the AfDB providing strategic support and direction to the diverse portfolio of Bank projects and programmes across Africa with a focus on infrastructure (transport, ICT, energy and water including logistics supply chains and trade facilitation) aimed at supporting Africa’s economic and social growth and enhancing the overall competitiveness of African economies.
My Masters Degree in Transport Economics from ITS Leeds has put me in senior management positions since 1987 as Director of Transport Planning in the Ministry of Transport of Zambia and subsequently into senior international management and technical positions with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and now the African Development Bank (AfDB). An exciting and challenging career spanning 28 years since graduating from Leeds which has seen me and my family live and work in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya and now Tunisia and travel all over Africa and the world.
ITS Leeds gave me the competencies, profile and academic recognition that has propelled me into my international career and I have not looked back since 1984. I also had the fortune to be lectured and mentored by renowned Transport Economists like Professor Gwilliam, Peter Mackie and Chris Nash among others.
I chose my ITS course and Leeds University because at that time, there were not many Universities in the world offering Transport Economics. Most offered Transport Studies of one form or the other but not Transport Economics. Having done Economics at Bachelor’s level from the University of Zambia, I wanted a specialisation in transport which would also enable me to retain and enhance my economics training. ITS Leeds and the Masters in Transport Economics was the perfect fit for me.
My advice to students interested in a course at ITS is that ITS Leeds is a world renowned centre of learning and excellence. The world over, particularly in Africa, transport and infrastructure, in general, is on the resurgence and a lot more professionals will be needed in this area. Therefore taking a course in Transport Economics or any transport studies for that matter at a recognised institution like ITS Leeds, in simple terms, positions you to be a winner like it has done for me. I guess I am living proof of what an ITS Leeds qualification can do, not just for me as an individual, but the impact of my training and expertise across countries and across the world.