International Advisory Panel

HESPI has an international advisory panel which comprises a prestigious group of experts from the sub-region and abroad who have strong commitment and passion for economic and social development of the Horn of Africa and other low income countries. The current advisory Panel comprises the following:

Dr. Abdella Hamdok

Dr. Abdella was most recently the Prime Ministre of Sudan. Before that He served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission For Africa (UNECA). He has a PhD in economics and worked as Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East of the International IDEA. Mr. Hamdok worked at the African Development Bank and at ILO/Southern Africa Multidisciplinary Advisory Team in Zimbabwe and was Head of Public Sector Group of Deloitte and Touche. He was senior official with the government of Sudan, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Mr. Elias Habte Selassie

Mr. Elias possesses B.Sc. Degree in Agricultural Engineering with a Minor in Economics, LL.B. Degree in Law and M.Sc. in Development Studies. He has over 40 years work experience in various institutions and capacities, such as a Legal Adviser in the Awash Valley Authority in river basin development, Senior Loan Officer in a Development Bank, a researcher and lecturer in academic institutions like the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands, University of Berkeley in California, and as a Program Officer with United Nations in Somalia, among others. Major areas of studies and work experience include forced migration and conflict transformation and peace building, capacity enhancement of local partners, sustainable development and natural resources management. Mr. Elias has produced several papers and reports on socio-political and economic issues.

Dr. Ismail Wais

Dr. Ismail has a Ph.D. in economics and social science from the University of Osnabrück. Dr. Ismail was appointed as the special envoy of IGAD to South Sudan since 2018. He served as the economic advisor to the President of Djibouti in charge of bilateral relations between Djibouti and Germany, and focal person for Somalia. He worked for more than two decades in development cooperation in the Greater Horn of Africa region (including Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda), Southern Africa (Zimbabwe), and Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. He also worked for German and international private and public organizations of development cooperation, including the German Foundation for International Cooperation (DSE), German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ); German Agency for Technical Relief (THW); UNDP and EU sponsored projects in Ethiopia. As early as 1982 he trained young professionals and experts in development cooperation to enhance the capacity and skills of staff of German organizations in country briefing (for Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia) on cooperation, projects management and cross-cultural communication.

Dr. Lual A. Deng

Dr. Deng is an influential South Sudanese intellectual, author, and policy expert. He is the founder and chief executive of the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies in juba, South Sudan. He was a member of South Sudan’s parliament, the National Legislative Assembly. Dr. Deng was educated in Sudan, Egypt and the United States of America, where he obtained respectively BSc degree in economic statistics, MSc in Biostatistics, MSc in economics, and PhD in development economics. His career has covered teaching, international development, research, and politics. Dr. Deng was assistant professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin Center System; country economist for African Development Bank; senior economist at the World Bank; Division Chief of environment and social policy at the AfDB; economic adviser to Dr. John Garang (2003 – 2005); state minister of finance (2005 – 2010) and minister of petroleum (2010 – 2011) in the Government of National Unity of Sudan. He has been a member of Advisory Group for Sub-Saharan Africa (AGSA) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mr. Matthias Meyer

Mr. Matthias has headed a consulting group in Geneva since 2005. He has specialized in economic and trade integration and institutional capacity development focusing on low-income developing countries. Has also lectured at several universities and published in academic journals. From 2002 to 2005, he negotiated as ambassador at the World Trade Organization for the Swiss Government and directed a government think tank on the coherence of trade and development policies. He served as Executive Director on the Board of the World Bank from 1997 to 2002. Before that he was operational head of economic development cooperation at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), chief of an operational division at the Inter-American Development Bank, and unit manager at SECO. He started his career as young professional and economist at the regional mission of the World Bank at Abidjan. He is a lawyer and economist by training.

Amb. Mohamed Abdi Affey

Ambassador Affey is the Special Envoy of UNHCR on the Somali Refugee Situation. The Special Envoy is to assist UNHCR efforts in the search for solutions for Somali refugees and asylum seekers at national and regional levels.Amb. Affey brings his wide regional experience, and served as the Special Envoy to Somalia for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Previously he held senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, servicing as Kenya’s Deputy Minister and later as Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia. From March 2008 to February 2013, as a Member of Parliament in Kenya National Assembly; Ambassador Affey supported the stabilization of Somalia by the African Union. In 2007 Ambassador Affey was awarded the Moran of Burning Spear (MBS) by the President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki. Amb. Affey graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2010 with a Master’s Degree in International Relations and major in International conflict Management.

Mr. Mohamed B. Yonis

Mr. Mohamed has over 40 years of experience in international development and diplomacy. Mr. Yonis holds an MPA from Harvard University where he was a Mason Fellow, and a BA in Political Science and Business Management from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He also holds diplomas in conflict resolution and in education obtained in Canada, Somalia and Germany. He is well known as an expert on public policy, particularly, in relation to governance, management and peace building in Africa. Mr. Yonis spent over 17 years at the United Nations, leaving at the Assistant Secretary-General level as the Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management in the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur. He also worked for the African Development Bank in Côte d’Ivoire for almost 15 years at various senior positions, including the Deputy Director of Human Resources Management, and Director/Management Adviser to the Bank President. Mr. Yonis is a seasoned public figure and served as a former Foreign Minister of Somaliland for over two years through October 2015. While in that capacity, he co-hosted the first Investment Conference for Somaliland with the UK Government in London; led a high-level delegation to the first Somaliland Conference at the European Union Parliament in Brussels in January 2015; and participated as an observer at the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings in May 2015.

Dr. Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa

Dr. Steve was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, where he also received his basic education. He holds a Bsc in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Vaxjo, Sweden, (1981), Certificates in Economics and Mathematics (1983), and a PhD in Economics (1988) from Gothenburg University, in Sweden, where he also subsequently became Associate Professor (1994). While at Gothenburg he was a consultant on aid to African countries for the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation. During this time, he undertook research collaboration with many universities in Africa including Cape Town, Makerere, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, and Zambia. Outside academia, he worked as a Research Fellow and Project Director at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki, (1999-2001), Senior Economist at the IMF, in Washington (2002-2007), and Lead Economist (2007-2009), Director for several departments, including Research and Operations (2009-2014), and Acting Chief Economist and Vice President at the African Development Bank (2014-2015) in Tunis and Abidjan.