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Office of the Vice President


Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, took up her appointment as Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region on July 6, 2009. Prior to becoming a Vice President in the World Bank, Shamshad Akhtar served as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (2006-2009), a Federal Ministerial level ranking. During this period she was also a Governor of the IMF. In 2006 and 2007 she was nominated Asia’s Best Central Bank Governor by Emerging Markets and the Banker’s Trust. Prior to her leadership of the Pakistan Central Bank, she worked as Director General of the South East Asia Region of the Asian Development Bank. From 1998-2002, she was Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Governance, Finance and Trade Division. She also served as ADB’s Coordinator of the APEC Finance Ministers Process. Between 1980 -1990 she worked as a Country Economist at the World Bank’s Resident Office in Islamabad. She is the recipient of a Post Doctoral Fellowship from Harvard University and holds an MA in Development Economics from the University of Sussex and an MSc in Economics from the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Recent Activities of the Regional Vice President

March 2011

Unfolding Developments in the Arab World and its Implications for the region
Speech delivered on March 14, 2011 in Kuwait

Food Security in the Arab World : Price Volatility and Vulnerabilities and the World Bank Response
Speech delivered on March 14, 2011 in Kuwait 

February 2011

Middle East and North Africa: Emerging Developments and Challenges
Speech delivered on Feb. 23, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium 

January 2011

Seeking Collaboration and Shared Knowledge, League of Arab States and World Bank Group Agree on Economic Integration Agenda
To strengthen and enhance collaboration in the areas of economic and social development in the Arab World, the League of Arab States (LAS) and the World Bank Group signed a memorandum of understanding at the Second Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit.
 Press Release

Mashreq: Cross Border Trade Facilitation and Infrastructure
Speech at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah.

November 2010

Visit to Morocco
Shamshad Akhtar accompanied World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati for her first visit to the Middle East and North Africa region.

International Forum on Human Development
At the opening ceremony on Monday November 1 in the seaside town of Agadir, Shamshad Akhtar, joined a high-level panel to deliver a message of congratulations along with a tough measure of the challenges ahead, including the persistent pockets of poverty in some rural areas.
 Speech l Story

World Economic Forum: Purpose, Resilience and Prosperity
Shamshad Akhtar participated in an Education Summit, held on the sidelines of the WEF, as well a number of key sessions during the forum.

October 2010

Launch of the Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative
Shamshad Akhtar participated in the launch of the Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative (MCCI) on October 22, 2010 in the Athens coastal town of Vouliagmeni.
 Story l Blog 

Annual Meetings/ EDP: The Region Recovers from the Crisis, but Slowly
Sound macro-economic management and a prudential approach to financial sector regulation has helped MENA countries escape a severe recession,” said Shamshad Akhtar. “Now the key challenge is to sustain growth after the rebound. For this the region can harness the strong human and physical resource base it has invested in over the past decades.”
More l Press Conference l Speech 

Washington DC: Knowledge Key to Growth and Job Creation in Tunisia
Tunisia is leading the way in the region, embracing what it takes to develop a knowledge-based economy which will help the country better use its strong human capital to enhance productivity and growth. This is the message conveyed by Robert B. Zoellick, Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, and Dr. Shamshad Akhtar during the conference “Beyond Recovery: Tunisia’s Knowledge-Based Approach to Long Term Growth and Job Creation” held in Washington DC on October 6, 2010.
Story l Speech

September 2010

Doha: Ministerial Colloquium on Quality of Education
Seventeen Arab states agreed upon the urgent need to improve the quality of education across the region and implement a system of evaluating the performance of schools, teachers and students. “The Arab world has made great strides in getting children into school,’’ said Shamshad Akhtar, “and now there is a new set of challenges. As school systems reach maximum levels of participation, concerns about quality multiply.”
 Press Release l Speech l Declaration

June 2010 

Dubai: Opening Remarks of the Flagship Launch: Poor Places, Thriving People: How the Middle East and North Africa can Rise above Spatial Disparity, June 15, 2010
Shamshad Akhtar, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, was hosted by the Dubai School of Government for the launch. “Spatial disparities impact both developed and developing countries” she said. “There is no single solution to resolving this complex issue, but a rich menu of options and lessons learned… alongside a growing recognition that ‘Good development is good spatial development.Press Release l Speech l Story

Washington, DC: Tenth Annual International Seminar on Policy Challenges for the Financial ector - June 2-4, 2010
Keynote Speech 

May 2010

Visit to Lebanon - May 19-21, 2010
At the end of the Maghreb round, Shamshad visited Lebanon for 3 days with calls on President, Prime Minister and key economic Ministers, the Governor of central bank and the private sector.
Press Release 

Shamshad's visit in the Maghreb countries
Algeria: Press Release 
Morocco: Press Release 
Tunisia: Press Release

April 2010 

Meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) in Madrid - April 12 to April 13, 2010
Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting in Madrid organized and chaired by Norway and hosted by Spain (currently holding the EU Presidency).

March 2010 

Egypt and The World Bank Signs Two New Agreements - March 25, 2010
For two projects: Enhancing Access to Finance for Micro and Small Enterprises Project and the Cairo Airport Development Project Second Terminal Building. More

AWI Ministerial Forum on Regional Facilities - March 24, 2010
A Ministerial Consultation was organized in Cairo on March 24, hosted by the World Bank Group under the patronage of the Ministry of Investment. The event was designed to present and receive feedback on two AWI initiatives: the Regional Infrastructure and a Regional MSMEs facility. Press Release

Quality of Education Round Table to promote quality of education in MENA region.
March 19-20, 2010
Speech l Quick Note

February 2010 

Visit to Morocco - February 14-17, 2010
The objective of this visit was the launch of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with the Kingdom of Morocco for 2010-2013.
Story l

January 2010 

Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, visited Iraq - January 16-19, 2010
The objective of this visit was to advance the strong partnership between Iraq and the World Bank Group. Ms Akhtar discussed the status of the Bank’s ongoing portfolio, with a view to accelerating implementation, and increasing the benefits for the Iraqi people. The World Bank program in Iraq consists of 22 projects worth about US$1.0 billion.
Press Release 

December 2009

Fourth Cairo Investment Forum - December 14, 2009
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar joined Egypt’s senior officials in addressing a session of the Fourth Cairo Investment Forum. She shared her thoughts on the region’s perspectives and challenges.
Press Release

High Level World Bank Delegation Concluded A Fact-Finding Mission To West Bank And Gaza - West Bank And Gaza, December 4 to 7, 2009
The visit aimed at reviewing the current economic and social challenges and was led by senior executives from the World Bank, Mr. Hasan Mirza, Executive Director for the Middle East, Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. James Bond, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) Chief Operating Officer, and Mr. Rashad-Rudolf Kaldany, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Vice President.

International conference “Building Knowledge economies for job creation, increased competitiveness, and balanced development - Tunis, December 1-3, 2009
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar addressed the conference that was jointly organized by the Tunisian government and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in coordination with the World Bank.
 Story l Speech 

Visit to Tunisia consolidates World Bank dialogue and cooperation with Tunisia - November 30th - Dec. 2, 2009
During her visit, the Vice-President met with the President of the Tunisian Republic, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Development and International Cooperation as well as the private sector. During this visit, Shamshad Akhtar inaugurated the new World Bank office in Tunisia
. Story 


November 2009

Symposium on Islamic Finance in Roma: Developments in MENA region - Rome, November 11, 2009
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar addressed the Islamic Finance Seminar organized by Banca d’Italia.

Launch of the Report: "From Privilege to Competition: Unlocking Private-Led Growth in MENA" - Cairo, November 9, 2009
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar addressed the launch event of the MNA private sector development flagship report. She made several interviews and met with several private sector personalities.

Story l Speech 

Field visit to Yemen - 6-9 November, 2009
During a 3-day visit to Yemen, Shamshad participated to a joint donor coordination meeting, where all key Ambassadors, head of UN and other agencies underscored need for a joint effort to steer the Government through the crisis. Shamshad visited sites of World-Bank financed projects supporting rural roads, urban renewal, rainwater catchment, and primary education in Al Mahweet Governorate and rehabilitation for disabled people in Sana'a.


October 2009

Launch of the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration (MCMI) - Marseille, 9-10 October 2009
After the WB/IMF annual meeting, the VP proceeded to Marseille for the official opening of the Marseilles Center where she also chaired the Annual Meeting of the MCMI and associated events.

Annual Meetings, High Level Seminar on Regional Economic Integration in the Arab World - Istanbul, October 5, 2009
The VP addressed the Seminar on the key priorities of the Arab World.


September 2009

West Bank and Gaza Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting at the UN in New York - September 20-22, 2009
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar led the Bank delegation that attended the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting at the UN in New York, organized and chaired by Norway and hosted by the UN Secretary General.
 Story l Speech 

Field Visit to Saudi Arabia - September 3-7, 2009
Shamshad Akhtar conducted a 5-day visit to Saudi Arabia that focused on areas of cooperation between the World Bank and the Saudi government and strengthening partnerships with regional development institutions headquartered in the Kingdom.


August 2009

Field Visit to Cairo - August 1-6, 2009 
During her visit to Egypt, Dr. Akhtar signed on behalf of the World Bank the loan agreement in the amount of US$ 270 million for the Egyptian National Railways Restructuring Project (ENRRP).
 Press Release 

July 2009

New Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region to take up her appointment on July 6, 2009. Press Release

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