Title: Sector Manager for Finance & Private Sector Unit
Bio: Simon Bell is currently Sector Manager in the Finance and Private Sector unit of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) of the World Bank – where he has been working for almost 18 months. Prior to joining the MENA region he occupied a similar management position in the South Asia region within the World Bank – where he worked for almost a decade. He works on all the countries of the MENA region on Financial Sector, Private Sector and, increasingly, Knowledge/Innovation issues. While working in the South Asia region his remit also included ICT issues – at a time when the ICT and ITES industry was booming in India and in other countries of South Asia. Prior to working in South Asia, he worked in the Africa region of the World Bank for eight years on similar FSD and PSD issues. Four years of this period he spent working in the World Bank’s Mozambique Field Office during the very exciting times of the mid-1990s. In addition to working extensively on Mozambique, he has also worked on most of the countries of Southern Africa – as well as extensive work on Tanzania and Eritrea in Eastern Africa. Prior to joining the World Bank, Simon worked in the research department of the Central Bank of Botswana (Bank of Botswana) – working on monetary policy and financial sector issues. Prior to that he worked in the Ministry of Finance in Papua New Guinea and for four years and at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia for several years. Simon has a Masters Degree in Development Economics from the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia. Simon has supervised over around $6.0 billion in World Bank lending to the South Asia and Middle East regions over the past two years – covering operational issues such as banking sector reform, SME and micro finance, infrastructure finance, housing finance, private sector development, development policy lending, etc. He is keenly interested in innovation and the development of Knowledge Economies in the Middle Income region of MENA – having supervised extensive work in the regard while working on India.