February 18, 2022

Dr. Vera Songwe

Country: Cameroon

Expertise: Climate Policy, Macroeconomics

Dr. Vera Songwe is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the 9th serving Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Following her appointment, she became the first woman to lead the institution in the organisation’s 60-year history and the highest ranking United Nations regional official.

As Executive Secretary, Dr. Songwe, focuses on “ideas for a prosperous Africa”, her organisational reforms have brought to the fore critical issues of macroeconomic stability; development finance, growth and private sector; poverty and inequality; the digital transformation and data; and trade and competitiveness. She is acknowledged for her long-standing track record of providing policy advice on development and her wealth of experience in delivering development results for Africa. A strong advocate of the private sector, she launched a business forum debate at ECA and created, for the first time, a private sector Division with a number of significant initiatives.

Before joining the ECA, Dr. Songwe held a number of leading roles at the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Songwe serves as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is also a member of the African Union institutional reform team under the direction of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and an advisory board member of the African Leadership Network and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Realizing a Climate-Resilient and Prosperous Africa


Challenges and Opportunities for Harnessing Climate & SDG Synergies: the role of carbon dioxide removal,


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