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Dr Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon shares vision for CDB


Dr Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon shares vision for CDB
Dr Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon. (GP)

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Bridgetown – St Lucia-born economist, Dr Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon Tuesday began his tenure as the sixth president of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Leon, who replaces the Jamaican, Dr Warren Smith, who had been in the post for the past ten years, said that his priority is supporting the bank’s borrowing member countries (BMC) through the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery, while advancing the bank’s mandate to contribute to the harmonious growth and development of member countries.

Leon, who spent more than 20 years with the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), said he also intends to promote cooperation and integration among the member countries.

He said his vision, which will require shared responsibility and contributions from regional and external stakeholders, calls for a comprehensive development approach across the region.

“A solid foundation for the evolution of a financially strong Bank that responds to the development needs and priorities of its BMCs has been laid by successive leaders.

“Going forward, we will need to emphasise innovation, to generate and refine new ideas and create opportunities; enhance measurement and evaluation for more effective implementation; foster effective partnerships and knowledge-sharing to promote transformation; build on our collective ingenuity and experience, and improve quality of life for our citizens,” Leon said

In a statement, the CDB said that Leon, who holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Southampton, has gained considerable exposure to diverse and challenging economies with complex socio-economic and political circumstances through his employment with the IMF.

“He also has extensive working knowledge of the Caribbean’s financial and economic landscape, having provided macroeconomic and financial policy support to regional governments while serving as Senior Resident Representative for the IMF in Jamaica, leading teams on The Bahamas, and delivering on capacity development across central banks in the region,” the statement added.

He was also in charge of IMF programmes and operations in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and most recently Tanzania. Prior to his tenure with the IMF, he served as Director of Research at the Central Bank of Barbados and economist with the CDB. The statement noted. (CMC)