Cheikh Oumar Seydi

Senior Advisor, Africa

Cheikh Oumar Seydi is a senior advisor for the foundation’s work in Africa. He joined the foundation in 2018 from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he was IFC’s regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, based in Nairobi. In this role, Oumar managed IFC’s investment and advisory operations covering the region’s 49 countries.

Oumar has also served as IFC’s director for Eastern and Southern Africa and as its global director of Human Resources, covering more than 100 offices around the world. He originally joined IFC in 1997 as an investment officer focused on oil, gas, mining, and agribusiness development.

Prior to IFC, Oumar was a manager at Ernst & Young in New York, where he advised corporate clients on restructuring, reorganization, corporate finance, and business valuation. He also spent five years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and began his career working for a variety of private banks and commercial auditing firms in Senegal and Belgium.

Oumar holds an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston. He was born and raised in Senegal.

See articles by Cheikh Oumar Seydi

A health worker administers a vaccine to a nurse in Zvimba Rural District near Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.

Africa’s health security requires strong African regulators

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons about health security – not the least that, when health resources are scarce, African countries cannot necessarily rely on imports to protect their people.
By Cheikh Oumar Seydi and Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki
Inside Cape Town International Airport in South Africa soon after the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID and the imposition of many bans on travel from southern Africa.

Southern Africa: Last in line for vaccines, first in line for travel bans

Instead of reacting to the identification of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 with travel bans and fear, the world should be lauding southern African scientists, investing in their research capacity, and addressing vast inequities in vaccine distribution.
By Cheikh Oumar Seydi Senior Advisor, Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
A drive-through coronavirus testing facility in Pretoria, South Africa.

As COVID-19 cases surge, African institutions lead response efforts

The world must act quickly to support African institutions in fighting the third wave of COVID-19 and bringing vaccines to the more than 98 percent of Africans who remain unvaccinated.
By Cheikh Oumar Seydi Senior Advisor, Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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