Executive Secretary Vera Songwe takes office, set to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister

Addis Ababa, 3 August 2017 (ECA) - The new Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe, officially took office Thursday and is set to meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, among other senior dignitaries in Addis Ababa today.

Ms. Songwe, who arrived in Addis Ababa Wednesday night, was appointed earlier this year by United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, and takes over from former Executive Secretary, Carlos Lopes.

Abdalla Hamdok has been acting as Executive Secretary since Mr. Lopes departed the ECA.

The Cameroonian economist and banking executive is the first woman to ever serve in this role.

Ms. Songwe will also meet with Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu and other high-level officials, including the Ambassador of Cameroon, Jacques Alfred Ndoumbe-Eboule, who’s also the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

She has been working as the International Finance Corporation’s regional director for Africa covering West and Central Africa since 2015. Ms. Songwe was also a non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute: Global Development and Africa Growth Initiative (since 2011).

She brings to the position a longstanding track record of policy advice and results-oriented implementation in the region, coupled with a strong strategic vision for the region.

Ms. Songwe was previously Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank (2012-2015), Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions (2008-2011) and Lead Country Sector Coordinator (2005-2008).

On Friday she will meet Ethiopia’s Finance and Economic Cooperation Minister, Abraham Tekeste, and the African Union Deputy Chairperson, Thomas Kwasi Quartey, among other dignitaries.

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org