Since the announcement of her resignation, several projects have been put on hold while Antonio Pedro, ECA Deputy Executive Secretary for Programme Support has been appointed Acting Executive Secretary until further notice.
The UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe of Cameroon, is stepping down. She officially left the post on 1 September 2022, after five years of dedicated service to ECA and its member States. Announcing her decision to step down at a panel discussion on 22 August, Songwe thanked ECA staff for their team spirit and support during her tenure.
“It has been a privilege to work with you and to serve the entire UN system. I cannot express enough my gratitude for the support, encouragement, guidance, patience and friendship I have received from you over the years,” Songwe said.
According to the statement issued by the ECA, Vera Songwe had ideas for a prosperous Africa on her shoulders, and she had to her credit the initiative of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Among the projects she left unimplemented were those related to Africa’s industrialization, the impact of climate change on development, Africa’s resilience to pandemics such as Covid-19 and private sector involvement. Issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the economic empowerment of youth and women are also included.
Other projects include the creation of the Digital Center of Excellence, a source of technical advice to African countries for the digital identification of their economies. In addition, the African Women’s Leadership Support Fund was established as an impact fund to accelerate the growth of women-owned funds in Africa.