Guinea-Bissau development expert named head of UN Economic Commission for Africa

Carlos Lopes. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

23 March 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed Carlos Lopes of Guinea-Bissau as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Mr. Lopes, who has more than 24 years of experience working at the UN, is currently serving as the Executive Director of the UN Institute for Training and Research and Director of the UN System Staff College, both of which are located in Europe.

Headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UNECA is one of the UN's five regional commissions, with a mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.

As a strategist and socio-economist, Mr. Lopes has vast experience in capacity building and technical cooperation in the African continent. He also worked as the UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Brazil and Zimbabwe with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Mr. Lopes will succeed Abdoulie Janneh from The Gambia. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was grateful for Mr. Janneh’s dedication and commitment to the Organization and his leadership of UNECA at a critical juncture of its work in the region.

“Mr. Lopes intends to focus on building consensus among the various stakeholders to ensure that UNECA is a key player in the economic and social development agenda for Africa,” the statement said.

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