Mr. David Cowan
Managing Director
Citi Group

David has been the Africa economist at Citi since July 2007.

Prior to this he held two posts at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London for a total of eight years. As a Senior Economist for Africa, he was responsible for the coverage of Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the overall forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa. He then moved on to serve as the Director of the Middle East and North Africa team, leading the coverage of Egypt and Morocco.

Before joining the Economist Intelligence Unit, he worked for six years as the Principal Research Officer at the Bank of Botswana, the country’s central bank, where he also co-edited a book, Aspects of the Botswana Economy: Selected Papers (James Currey and Lentswe La Lesedi), with J.S. Salkin, D. Mpabanga, J. Selwe and M. Wright. He also worked for three years for the Economic Research Unit of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During his working career, David has built up has a wide-ranging knowledge of financial and foreign exchange markets in Africa, global oil markets and the problems of maximising the benefits of natural resources in African countries.

Much of his primary education was in various African countries, including Swaziland and Sierra Leone, but he completed his secondary education in Hong Kong. He has a first degree in economics from the University of Bath and a PhD from the University of London that examined the impact of Tanzania’s structural adjustment programmes from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.


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