UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has appointed Ms Vera Songwe as the first female Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
A statement on ECA’s website on Monday said that she was the first woman to be appointed to the position. She succeeded Carlos Lopes who hails from Guinea-Bissau.
Songwe who has been working as the International Finance Corporation’s regional director for Africa spanning West and Central Africa since 2015 is a Cameroonian economist and also a banking executive.
She is a non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute: Global Development and Africa Growth Initiative (since 2011).
The commission said she would be bringing to the position a longstanding track record of policy advice and result-oriented implementation in the region, coupled with a strong strategic vision for the region.
Songwe was Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank (2012-2015).
She has also worked as Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe, Central Asia and South Asia Regions (2008-2011) and Lead Country Sector Coordinator (2005-2008).
Here’s a list of previous executive secretaries for ECA:
Mr. Mekki Abbas (Sudan) 1959 – 1961
Mr. Robert K.A Gardiner (Ghana) 1961 – 1975
Mr. Adebayo Adedji (Nigeria) 1975 – 1991
Mr. Issa Diallo (Guinea) 1991 – 1992;
Mr. Layashi Yaker (Algeria) 1992 – 1995;
Mr. Kingsly Amoako (Ghana) 1995 – 2005;
Mr. Abdoulie Janneh (Gambia) 2005 – 2012.
Mr. Carlos Lopes (Guinea-Bissau) 2012 – 2016