Newly appointed UNECA Executive Secretary to meet Ethiopian government officials

(EBC; August 3, 2017)- The new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe, officially took office Thursday, the Commission said.

The Cameroonian economist and banking executive is the first woman to ever serve the post. She is set to meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, among other senior dignitaries in Addis Ababa Thursday.

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

On Friday, she will meet Ethiopia's Finance and Economic Cooperation Minister, Abraham Tekeste, and the AU Commission Deputy Chairperson, Thomas Kwasi Quartey, among other dignitaries, according to the statement.

Songwe has been working as the International Finance Corporation's regional director for Africa covering West and Central Africa since 2015. She 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, noted the statement.

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).

Songwe, who arrived in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Wednesday night, was appointed earlier this year by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and takes over from former Executive Secretary, Carlos Lopes.