24.08.2022 at 15h53
Paul Reinhard Wandji
Dr. Vera Songwe announced last Monday her resignation as United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) during a virtual meeting for ECA employees and partners.
Even if the reasons for her departure have not yet been mentioned, the foreign press underlines that the Cameroonian is flying towards new and greater challenges.
The Cameroonian economist, Vera Songwe aged 42 by that time, was chosen from among 77 candidates on April 13, 2017, as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, replacing Bissau-Guinean Carlos Lopes, who resigned on October 31, 2016. Before that, she had been working since 1998 working for the World Bank Group and still before joining the UNECA she had held the position since 2015 of Resident Representative of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank subsidiary specializing in private sector financing.
Before the IFC, Vera Songwe, who, for at least two years, appeared in the ranking of the 100 African leaders of tomorrow, published annually by the Choiseul Institute, served between 2011 and 2015 as Director of Operations of the Bank. worldwide for West African countries such as Senegal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mauritania
Under her leadership, UNECA has been instrumental in building the continent’s capacity to source, manufacture, and market vaccines. “The ECA team has proposed a protocol adopted by African Heads of State and Government that requires 30% of all procurement by global health agencies to come from Africa. This is a crucial starting condition if vaccines and other health products are to be produced sustainably on the continent,” she stressed.
At the last conference of African finance ministers in June, the commission and its partners succeeded in obtaining $33.7 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs) from the IMF for Africa as well as an approved liquidity plan by the G20, the initiative to suspend the service of the debt that provided an additional $13 billion in liquidity for the continent.