Cameroonian Vera Songwe appointed Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

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United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, has appointed Vera Songwe as ECA’s Executive Secretary. The Cameroonian economist and banking executive is the first woman to ever serve in this role.


According to, Dr. Songwe beat more than 70 candidates to clinch the post which was held by Dr. Carlos Lopes who stepped down from the organisation in September last year.


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


Ms. Songwe was previously Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank (2012-2015).


She was also the 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).


Source: APO/United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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