David Cowan has been the Africa Economist at Citi since 2007 and leads the bank’s economic analysis of events around the continent. Prior to joining Citi he has held a wide variety of roles including working at the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Bank of Botswana and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He completed his PhD at the University of London in 1992 looking at Tanzania’s experience under IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programmes. During his working career, he 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.


Russell has recently arrived in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to head EY oil and gas tax practice in East Africa and has a wider role in supporting the teams across the sub-Saharan region.

Prior to taking up this position Russell led EY offices in the oil and gas cities of Atyrau and Aktau in Kazakhstan for another Big 4 firm. He is an Australian with many years of experience in advising on taxation matters in the energy and natural resources sector.