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UN appoints first female Executive Secretary for ECA

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





Solomon Obende
Solomon Obende is a graduate of Public Administration from the prestigious Ambrose Alli University who is passionate about communications for development. He is proficient in crafting effective social media strategies. He listens to Jimmy Cliff's songs daily.

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