Cameroonian-born Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa, ECA is running for the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation, a sister organization of the World Bank Group.
The 52-year-old who hails from Bamenda in the North West region of Cameroon is in the race to replace French Philippe Le Houérou, appointed to head the global development institution in 2015.
Vera Songwe holds a PhD in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics, a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme d’études approfondies in Economic Science and Politics from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science obtained at the University of Michigan.
Vera Songwe is not vying to head an unknown ground. She is an economist and banking executive who has worked for the World Bank since 1998.
From 2011 to 2015, she was Regional Director for Africa covering West and Central Africa for the International Finance Corporation, and Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mauritania.
In 2017 she became the very first woman to head the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa, ECA at the level of Under Secretary-General.
The Cameroonian-born has received several recognitions. In 2013, she was listed by Forbes as one of the 20 Young Power Women in Africa.
In 2014, the Institut Choiseul for International Politics and Geo-economics selected her amongst the African leaders of tomorrow.
African Business Review described her as one of the Top 10 Female Business Leaders in Africa and most recently, she was classified by Advance Media in the top 100 of most influential women on the African continent.
Vera Songwe is on the race for the top position at IFC with Ivorian politician, Thierry Tanoh. The election will hold on October 1.