Cameroonian appointed head of Economic Commission on Africa

Cameroonian economist and banking executive Vera Songwe has been appointed the new Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission on Africa (ECA).

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

ECA is one of the United Nation’s five regional commissions, and its mandate is to promote the economic and social development of African states.

Dr Songwe 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.

She has been serving as the International Finance Corporation’s regional director for Africa covering West and Central Africa.

She was previously the Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank between 2012 and 2015.

Songwe was also the Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions between 2008 and 2011 and also worked as Lead Country Sector Coordinator between 2005 and 2008.

Songwe holds a PhD in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics of the Catholic University of Louvain (CORE-UCL) in Belgium.  She was previously a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Kwame Appiah

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