Conrad Kiechel

Published October 31, 2022

From the Publisher

I doubt I’m going too far out on a limb in saying that many of you are looking forward to turning the page on 2022. Beginning with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, then through rocketing inflation, global food insecurity, Covid-19’s shapeshifting and turbulent financial markets, it has often seemed to be, as a certain British monarch said of another disappointing year, an “annus horribilis.”

But the incurable optimists at the Milken Institute always find bright shoots amid the rubble, and I recently ran into some especially bright ones. It’s a fine moment to share the Institute’s pride in creating and running the IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program, which has the goal of increasing the expertise of financial policymakers across developing and emerging economies.

Since the initiative launched six years ago, we have trained some 170 scholars from 45 countries, working with each to enhance their skills in regulation, legislation and policy planning. Scholars complete four months of rigorous coursework at George Washington University which is customized to their needs, then spend four-month internships at financial institutions to gain real-world insight.

At a four-day meeting in August with many significant supporters and high-profile friends of the Institute, we were joined by four members of the class who graduated at the end of September. Each represents a critically important nation, and each offered a unique perspective to the discussions. They also provided a much-needed reminder of the quite different prospects and expectations of the great majority of the world’s population. The class members:

  • Motlanalo Mashoene, a risk analyst in the Financial Markets Division at the South African Reserve Bank, who interned at Calvert Impact Capital.
  • Lukman Jimoh, a senior economist at the Central Bank of Nigeria, who interned at Fitch Ratings.
  • Maheen Najmi, assistant director with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, who interned at the International Finance Corporation.
  • Mohamed Derbala, a financial analyst at the Central Bank of Egypt, who interned at Delphos International.

After meeting these four, I can attest that each is a self-assured and delightful individual. They are also truly motivated — and feel themselves better prepared than before — to get on with the job of improving the efficiency of capital markets back home, a prerequisite to creating the broad-based prosperity that should be every country’s right. It’s impossible to be pessimistic about the future after meeting those who will be shaping it — dedicated professionals like Motlanalo, Lukman, Maheen and Mohamed.


mksig 600

Conrad Kiechel, Publisher