Ebrima Faal Feature Image
Ebrima Faal '84
Commerce alumnus Ebrima Faal, recently appointed director of the African Development Bank’s Nigeria Country Office, says his time at Mount Allison contributed immensely to his career by laying a foundation for his future and moulding him into the person he is today.

Faal has spent 25 years working in the development field — 18 years with the International Monetary Fund in different regions and the past seven years at the African Development Bank in operational and policy work.

Faal says this new appointment means a lot to him and his career.

“This new position is important, as my team and I are being trusted with contributing toward the economic and social transformation of Nigeria and the African continent,” he says. “For me, working in development is something that I am passionate about and in many ways it has become a personal extension of who I am. I therefore see my new position as a channel to impact other people to make the world a better place.”

“While I specialized in Commerce, the emphasis on a liberal arts education broadened my education and expanded my horizons and outlook in life,” he says. “The small class sizes and emphasis on class participation and case studies allowed me to develop great interpersonal skills, confidence, and appreciation for other cultures. Mount Allison really prepared me for success later in graduate school and beyond.”

Faal grew up in Gambia and his father ordered several university handbooks, as it was pre-Internet. He applied to two universities in the U.S. and one other in Canada. He decided he would be the happiest with a small liberal arts university.

“For me, Mount Allison was the complete package. I knew that I wanted to pursue accounting and economics in university, but I did not want miss out on a great liberal arts education and to give up my love of other disciplines,” he says. “Mount Allison allowed me to not only be engaged in an intense Commerce program, but to also discover interests in other areas, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and religious studies.”

After Mount Allison, Faal pursued a Master of Arts and a PhD in Economics at McGill University. His big career break came while writing his dissertation, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited McGill on a recruiting mission. He was offered a position in Washington that summer.

“It was a proud moment for my dad as he was a long-time general manager of the Central Bank and I promised him long before that I would one day work for the IMF or the World Bank. So determination and hard work, and tons of luck made it happen for me.”