Mysterious resignation

Why is Vera Songwe leaving the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa?

By Yara Rizk, Stéphane Ballong

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Posted on August 31, 2022 10:47

 Cameroonian economist Vera Songwe © Sylvain Cherkaoui for JA.
Cameroonian economist Vera Songwe © Sylvain Cherkaoui for JA.

Has Vera Songwe been given a new position in another institution or was she forced to resign from her post as executive secretary of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa? Here is what we know so far.

Vera Songwe, who has been serving as the Economic Commission for Africa’s executive secretary since April 2017, announced her resignation during a virtual meeting held by the UN body on 22 August. Although no statement has yet been made official, her impending departure has been confirmed on social media by several prominent figures who have commented on the announcement.

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), praised the Cameroonian economist’s “dynamism and passion” “for advancing groundbreaking policies for Africans across the continent […] in difficult and uncertain times”.

Reacting to the IMF boss’ message, former Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) head John Nkengasong, now the US administration’s global AIDS coordinator and special representative for global health at the State Department, also hailed Songwe’s

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