INTERVIEW with Albert G. Zeufack

Published on September 5, 2023 Updated on September 6, 2023

on the April 15, 2022

Some career paths of CERDI alumni.

INTERVIEW: Albert G. Zeufack, Banque mondiale

At the time of the interview Albert G. Zeufack was chief economist for the Africa region at the World Bank. Now, he is World Bank Country Director for Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sao Tome and Principe. 

What is your job at the World Bank? 

I'm the chief economist for the Africa region at the World Bank in Washington DC. I am in charge of the development strategy of two regions: Central and West Africa, and East and Southern Africa. I manage the development strategy for the 8 countries in these two regions in sub-Saharan Africa. I put in place the research and study strategy that underpins the World Bank' s operations on the African continent. I also work as an adviser on economic policy to the vice-presidents of these regions. The other aspect of my work is also to create links directly with research institutes and universities all over the continent.

How did you arrive at CERDI? 

I discovered CERDI, through the writings of professors Patrick and Sylviane Guillaumont. I was a masters student at the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon when I read their book "Zone franc et développement africain." Later, I wrote to them, to comment on the book and offer to work with them on a PhD. This is how they told me about CERDI. They asked me to sit the competitive examination for the senior professional diploma in economic development. I passed and I joined the senior professional diploma course in Clermont-Ferrand in October 1990. 

After the senior professional diploma, I presented a PhD thesis at CERDI, in 1996, on the determinants of private investment, with applications in panel data econometrics. My research topic was mainly based on the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics. 

What is CERDI's place in global expertise? 

At the World Bank and the International Monetary F und (IMF), CERDI enjoys an extremely good reputation. It is consistently the school where the greatest number of candidates take the "World Bank young professionals" competitive examination. It has an excellent reputation because it prepares young development economists with very good quantitative and analytical content. This reputation has endured for years, and it would be nice to see that continue. 

The entrance selection plays a major role. Concerning the recruitment of African students, CERDI often recruits the best from economics and mathematics faculties in Africa. This very good entrance selection, of course, is not everything. The teaching content in quantitative economics, in development, in development economics but also in languages is also important. I believe that most students end up nearly bilingual. This was already the case when I was studying for the senior professional diploma, half of the lessons were in English. This positions CERDI students very favorably on the job market. 

CERDI remains a center of excellence for the training of young economists interested in development issues. I will be happy to support CERDI so that this good reputation continues! 


I have a lot of memories from my time at CERDI. It must be said that I spent seven years in Clermont Ferrand. During that time, I was a student and then I taught at the Faculry of Economies before entering the World Bank. 

I have accumulated many memories, but the most vivid are those of a community at CERDI animated, at the time, by professors Patrick and Sylviane Guillaumont who were very closely attached to development economics but also to culture. I remember those evenings at CERDI where Professor Guillaumont sometimes tried his hand at singing. A student had composed a song about development that he liked to sing! There were many evenings when students and teachers got together around themes. W e were quite relaxed, as they say, I have some very good memories. I have returned to CERDI twice for seminars and I regularly participate in the PhD jury­in fact, I was there less than a month ago!