Vera Songwe steps down as ECA Executive Secretary

ADDIS ABABA – Vera Songwe, has stepped down from her position as the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Thursday, Sept 1, 2022.

Songwe first announced her decision to step down from the position she held five years ago during a town hall meeting at the ECA Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 22 August.

During the meeting, the former UN Under-Secretary-General thanked ECA staff for their team spirit and support during her tenure.

“It has been a privilege to work with you and serve the whole UN system,” Songwe told the staff.

“I cannot express enough my appreciation for the support, encouragement, guidance, patience, and friendship I received throughout these years from you,” she added.

Under her leadership, ECA played a key role in promoting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at national, subregional and continental levels.

She was also a major advocate for adequate resources to finance Africa’s COVID-19 recovery initiatives; fostering public-private partnerships; and promoting local manufacturing to ensure sustainable economic growth and reduce growth volatility in Africa.

In a farewell note to staff on 31 August, Songwe said she was “pleased to convey the Secretary-General’s decision to designate Antonio Pedro Acting Executive Secretary, beginning 1 September 2022, until further notice.”

Pedro was serving as ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Programme Support befre she step dow from her position.

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