Our Team in South Africa

Nelson Muffuh

Nelson Muffuh

UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Nelson Muffuh of Cameroon as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in South Africa, with the host Government’s approval. He takes up his post on 1 December. Nelson Muffuh brings more than 20 years of experience in international relations and negotiations, political and development issues at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters, regional and country levels.

Prior to his appointment as United Nations Resident Coordinator, Nelson Muffuh served as Chief of Staff and Principal Strategic Adviser to the UN Deputy Secretary-General since 2017. He led the overall management and guidance of staff, focusing on the acceleration of systemwide and whole-of-society efforts on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on the repositioning the UN development system and strengthening the Resident Coordinators system.

As lead strategic adviser and policy coordinator on sustainable development political and partnerships interventions, Mr. Muffuh helped shape and advance the UN’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, advocate and organize summits on the SDGs, Financing for Development, and Climate Action. He was instrumental in convening and coordinating the efforts of launching the Spotlight Initiative on violence against women and girls, the Decade of Action for the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and the Global Crisis Response Group to address the impacts on food, energy, and finance due to the war in Ukraine.

Prior to this, Mr. Muffuh led and coordinated stakeholder engagement, outreach, and global strategic partnerships efforts to inform the post-2015 development policy process, whose outcome was the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying SDGs to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.

Nelson Muffuh started his UN career with the UN Development Programme-UN Millennium Campaign, then UN Population Fund in Africa, where he acquired extensive experience in programme management, multistakeholder collaborative interventions, partnerships and communications, as well as advocacy and mobilization. Before that, he served as a Senior Programme and Advocacy Advisor for Christian Aid, and Programme Coordinator for the African Liberal Network-Westminster Foundation for Democracy and Transparency International Secretariat.

Mr. Muffuh studied political science and international relations at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and development cooperation at Sussex University, United Kingdom.
He is married and has two children.
 Christine Muhigana

Christine Muhigana

UNICEF
Representative
Christine Muhigana took up her duties as UNICEF Representative in South Africa in September 2020. She was previously the UNICEF Representative in the Central African Republic (CAR) for three years. Between 2013 and 2017, she was UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for the West and Central Africa region based in Dakar, Senegal. Overall, she has more than 30 years of experience in the UN.
She holds a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations as well as a master’s degree in Maritime and Air Law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.
Abigail Noko

Abigail Noko

OHCHR
Regional Representative
 
Abigail Noko is the Regional Representative of the Regional Office of OHCHR in Southern Africa. She has worked at OHCHR for more than 20 years in various capacities. Prior to her current posting, she oversaw OHCHR’s work from headquarters in east and southern Africa and the African Union and undertook special assignments in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Previously she was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, the adviser on HIV and worked on external relations and donor relations. Before joining OHCHR, she worked with UNHCR and in the private sector.

Aleta Miller

Aleta Miller

UN Women
UN Women Multi-Country Representative, South Africa
Aleta Miller served as Country Representative at UN Women Afghanistan since April 2018 and prior was the UN Women Representative of the Fiji Multi-Country Office, covering 14 Pacific Island nations.
Aleta has extensive experience in Women’s Rights, Human Rights, Refugee Rights, Public Health, and International Development, gained through more than 25 years of professional engagement, including with UN Women, UNFPA and UNAIDS, and several NGOs and Governments.

In addition to the above, she served in Myanmar, China, Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, as well as New York, and her native Australia. Aleta is a Clinical Psychologist (Australian registered, non-practicing status) and holds a Master's degree in International Public Health, along with undergraduate degrees in Behavioral Science and in Occupational Health.
Alexandros MAKARIGAKIS

Alexandros MAKARIGAKIS

UNESCO
Regional Hydrologist for Africa at UNESCO
 
Total of more than 18 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of environmental sciences, 15 of which on the international platform on issues of development in developing and developed countries with focus on natural resources management (water and environment).

Thirteen years working at an International Organization (UNESCO), eight years of experience in the field of bioremediation of hazardous chemicals and three years in municipal water and wastewater purification. Experience includes representing UNESCO’s Natural Science sector at Windhoek Cluster Office, at Addis Ababa Liaison Office, Chief of the Cross Cutting Thematic Unit on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), thematic leader of Water for Human Settlements and Deputy Secretary of the UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), university lecturing, the design and execution of innovative bench-scale treatment systems and mathematical model developments for further scale-up purposes as well as in-situ testing for verification, groundwater remediation and waste management
Anne Githuku-Shongwe

Anne Githuku-Shongwe

UNAIDS
Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa
 
 
Anne Githuku-Shongwe is the Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa. She has 20 years of experience as a senior international development professional, including with the United Nations Development Programme, across Africa and in management consulting in the United States of America.

Her last post was as the Representative for UN Women’s South Africa multicountry office, which is responsible for women's empowerment and gender equality in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa.

Ms Githuku-Shongwe is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of AROES, a digital and gamification learning enterprise, and is a thought leader on the future of learning.

Ms Githuku-Shongwe and AFROES have received multiple awards, including the prestigious Schwab Foundation/World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 award and a national award, the Order of the Grand Warrior, from the President of Kenya.

She is an author and contributor to several books, including The write to speak: a collection of stories by African women leaders, Kenya@50 and Turning a crisis into an opportunity: the HIV response in Lesotho. She is also a board member and grand juror of the World Summit Awards for the United Nations Information Society and a former Global Ambassador of the Vital Voices leadership programme.

She has a masters degree in international development from the American University, a certificate in social innovation from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, a certificate in the art of large-scale systems change for social entrepreneurship from Harvard University and a management certificate from Jones International University.
Diego Masera - UNIDO Representative for Southern Africa

Diego Masera

UNIDO
UNIDO Representative for Southern Africa
 
 
 
Diego Masera is currently UNIDO Representative for Southern Africa covering Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

From 2018 to 2023 he was the Chief of the Regional Coordination Bureau, Latin America and the Caribbean in charge of a regional network of offices which include one Regional Hub in Mexico, three regional offices in Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia, three National offices in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. In parallel, from 2018 to 2022 he was the Deputy Director, Department of Programmes, Partnerships and Field Integration, and Chief of the Latin America and the Caribbean Division of UNIDO in charge of the development and strengthening of partnerships with governments and private sector, establishment of programmatic priorities, leveraging financial resources through partnerships and technical cooperation, introduction of innovative results-based management tools based on annual business plans in each of UNIDO’s field offices and the articulation of UNIDO’s work in all Regions.

From 2015 to January 2018, he managed one of the largest United Nations Headquarters where he applied a number of energy efficiency interventions to make it the first UN HQ to be climate neutral ahead of the UN target. For this work UNIDO received the praise of the Government of Austria and the UN at large.

Previously, Diego Masera was for five years the Chief of the Renewable Energy Division of UNIDO, in charge of a Global USD250M portfolio of projects that include a wide range of renewable technologies such as: Wind, Small Hydro Power, Solar PV, Solar thermal, Biomass gasification, biogas and biofuels. In this position, Diego Masera contributed with strategic and innovative thinking in the conceptualization and development of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative that constituted the basis of SDG7.

From 2006 to 2010, Diego Masera was the Regional Technical Advisor on Energy and Climate Change for Latin America and the Caribbean of UNDP where he contributed substantively to the introduction of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency policies in several countries of the region.

From 1990 to 2001, Diego Masera worked on SMEs development in Africa holding different positions for international organizations.

Diego Masera holds a Ph.D on renewable energy and a bachelor on industrial design engineering; he studied in Italy and England and collaborated for some years with the European industry.

Diego Masera has an extensive experience in inclusive and sustainable industrial development covering more than 50 countries and is author of several publications.
Dr. Babagana Ahmadu

Dr. Babagana Ahmadu

FAO
FAO Representative
Dr. Babagana Ahmadu is FAO Representative in South Africa as of 1st January 2023. Prior to this post, he served as FAO Representative in three countries in Africa, Namibia, the Republic of Gambia, and Sudan. He previously worked as a Livestock Development Officer in the Livestock Credit Unit of the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Babagana also worked as an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria, and was appointed to the post of Lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Maiduguri. He was the pioneer Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC –DREA) and was instrumental in developing policies and strategic frameworks on leading global issues in many countries across Africa. As the first substantive Director for the AUC – DREA, Babagana provided the overall leadership, as well as managed all Heads of Divisions/Specialized Technical Offices under the department in different parts of Africa.

He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Medicine (Livestock Development) from the University of Zambia, a Master of Science in Tropical Animal Production and Health from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria.
DrOwen

Dr. Owen Kaluwa

WHO
Representative
Dr Owen Laws Kaluwa is specialized in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine from the Free University of Berlin in Germany. Prior to his appointment as WHO Representative for South Africa, he was WHO Representative for Ghana, WHO Representative for Swaziland, and Regional Adviser for HIV/AIDS for the Africa Region. Before joining WHO, Dr Kaluwa worked in his home country of Malawi as the Head of Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Programmes at the Ministry of Health, National Coordinator of HIV/AIDS Strategic Planning, and as Programme Director of the National AIDS Commission.

Eva Kiwango, UNAIDS Country Director

Eva Kiwango

UNAIDS
UNAIDS Country Director
Prior to her appointment as UNAIDS Country Director, Ms. Eva Kiwango served for four year as the UNAIDS Country Director for Mozambique and brings over 24 years of experience in policy, planning, technical assistance, program management, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
She has served the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) since 2004, with postings in South Africa, Switzerland and Mozambique.

While in Mozambique, Ms. Kiwango performed multiple roles in supporting national efforts to expand access to HIV prevention and treatment, strengthen human rights advocacy, foster civil society engagement and mobilize HIV financing. As such, in partnership with the Government and civil society organizations,Ms. Kiwango contributed to the mobilization of over 4 billion USD from PEPFAR and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria during her tenure.

She also brought her practical multidisciplinary and multi-layered systems -thinking and leadership to guide an expanded UN system wide HIV response that addresses multiple intersectional inequalities. In line with the peace-development and humanitarian nexus approach. Ms. Kiwango worked with the government, communities, and development partners to strengthen collaboration between the emergency response programming and the HIV response during cyclone Idai and Kenneth and on-going humanitarian crises in Cabo Delgado province.

Before joining UNAIDS, Ms. Kiwango worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) African Centre for Gender in Ethiopia starting in 2001,providing technical support to Sudan, the Seychelles, SADC, Uganda and Zambia.
Ms. Kiwango has also worked in Tanzania for USAID, Danida on rural community development poverty, health and education initiatives, and as a consultant for the Tanzanian Ministry of Health where she contributed to strengthening results-based programming in the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme. Ms. Kwango has a MSc. in Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics (1995). She is a national of Tanzania and is fluent in English and Kiswahili and proficient in Portuguese.
Francesco Maria Rispoli

Francesco Maria Rispoli

IFAD
Head, IFAD Southern Africa Multi-Country Office and Country Director
 
Francesco Rispoli, a national of Italy, is the IFAD Country Director for Rwanda. Prior to his appointment, Mr Rispoli served as Country Director for Rwanda and Tanzania. Rispoli worked as the Senior Technical Specialist in Inclusive Rural Financial Services at IFAD. Before joining IFAD, he worked with UNDP Kenya and in a consulting firm providing technical assistance to the European Commission.
Jane Marie Ongolo UNODC

Jane Marie Ongolo

UNODC
UNODC Representative of the Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSAF).
Ms. Jane Marie Ongolo (Kenya) newly appointed UNODC’s Representative of the Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSAF).
Jane Marie has over twenty-five years of relevant substantive and managerial experience in national and international positions of increasing responsibility, including work at the continental level with the African Union Commission.

During her career, she has served in various capacities including: Head of Social Welfare, Vulnerable Groups, Drug Control and Crime Prevention with the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since 2018; Programme Manager, AU Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention with the African Union Commission (2010-2018); National Programme Officer (HIV/AIDS) and National Project Officer (Drug Abuse and HIV Prevention) with UNODC ROEA in Nairobi (2005-2010); Regional Governance Advisor, East and Central Africa with the British Council in Kenya (2003-2005); National Programme Manager with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Kenya (1999-2003); Development Officer, DFID Civil Society Umbrella Project with the British Council in Kenya (1998-1999); Programme Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer with Sinaga Women and Child Labour Resource Centre (NGO) in Kenya (1995-1998); and Children ́s Officer with the Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage, Department of Child (Government) in Kenya (1991- 1995).

Jane Marie holds a doctorate in Business & Administration from the Bulacan State University and a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She is fluent in English and has a basic knowledge of French.
ILO Decent Work Team/Country Office Pretoria

K. Dan CUNNIAH, Director a.i

ILO
ILO Decent Work Team/Country Office Pretoria
 
 
 
Mr. Dan Cunniah was born in Mauritius. He has studied Development Economics at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He holds also a Diploma in Industrial Relations from the University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC, United States. He studied also Community Development at the Dundalk University, Ontario, Canada. He further obtained a certificate in Industrial law from the Ruskin College, UK.

Before joining the ILO, Mr Cunniah held various positions in the trade union movement in Mauritius, the last one being the General Secretary of the Mauritius Labour Congress. Later he joined the former International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) as the Deputy to the Head of the African Desk based in Brussels, Belgium. Then, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Geneva Office of the former ICFTU and later became the Director of the Office and Secretary of the Workers’ Group of the ILO Governing Body.

He joined the ILO as the Deputy Director of the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) and later became the Director of the Bureau. He later served as Senior Adviser to the Deputy Director General of the ILO for Field Operations and Partnerships.

Before taking his post as Director a.i. of the ILO Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa and Country Office covering Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa, he was acting, for a short period, as Regional Director for the ILO Regional Office for Africa, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Mr Cunniah is married with Bharatee and they have three daughters. He likes reading and listening to music and songs. He enjoys jogging, walking and going to the gym.
Lily Sanya, Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) South Africa

Lily Sanya

IOM
Country Director
Lily Sanya took up her appointment as the IOM Chief of Mission in South Africa in January 2019. Prior to this, she was Chief of Mission to Zimbabwe from March 2016 to January 2019. Ms Sanya has worked with IOM for the past 22 years in several operations in sub-Saharan Africa and in central Asia.
In July 2004, she temporarily served as a Regional Trainer for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). She also served as an Electoral Support for the IOM’s Out of Country Voting Process for Iraq in Syria and the UN Assistance Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for the Liberian elections.
Ms. Lydia Zigomo

Lydia Zigomo

UNFPA
Regional Director, UNFPA Regional Office for East and Southern Africa
 
Ms. Lydia Zigomo is the Regional Director for UNFPA, East and Southern Africa. Ms. Zigomo provides strategic oversight, support and technical expertise to 23 Country Offices and partners in the region, who work on the ground to improve people’s lives by equipping them with policy advice, training and support. A human rights lawyer and international development and humanitarian leader, Ms. Zigomo has 30 years’ experience in women and children’s rights, constitutional reform, health systems strengthening, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, gender justice, women’s economic empowerment and economic justice, including in humanitarian settings.

She previously served with Oxfam International as Global Programmes Director in Nairobi, Kenya, and as Regional Director for the Horn, East and Central Africa. Before this, she was Regional Director in East Africa for Water Aid.
Ms. Zigomo began her career as a solicitor in Harare, Zimbabwe, before moving into the development sector in 1998. She holds a Master’s degree in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law from the University of Leicester, UK, and a Bachelor of Laws Honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe.
Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly World Bank

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly

World Bank
World Bank, Country Director Africa
 
Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, a French national from Martinique, is the Country Director for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Since joining the World Bank in 1994, Marie-Nelly has held a variety of positions focused on public enterprise restructuring, support to private sector development, regional integration, and management of the oil sector. Marie-Nelly has held a number of leadership positions, including Country Director in the Maghreb and Malta (2015-2019), Country Director for Nigeria (2011-2015) and Country Director for the two Congos (Brazzaville and DRC) from 2008 to 2011. Marie-Nelly was also Director of the World Bank Group Program for the Chad Petroleum and the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project (2004-2007) and Director of the regional integration program in Africa from 2000 to 2004.

Marie-Nelly is a Certified Public Accountant, a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Nantes (France) and Bowling Green University (Ohio, USA). She has also completed several management programs at Harvard University in the US, worked for many international firms and was advisor to several governments before joining the World Bank.
UNIC Director

Masimba Tafirenyika

UNIC
Director
Masimba Tafirenyika, a national of Zimbabwe, is the Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria, an office that provides communications services to UN in South Africa. He assumed his current position in 2017. Prior to this, he was the head of the Africa Section in the UN Department of Global Communications and Editor-in-Chief of its Africa Renewal, the UN’s Secretariat’s premier magazine on African developmental issues. Previously, he served as the Officer-in-Charge of the Pretoria Information Centre from 2008 to 2009, and as Deputy Director from 2006 to 2008. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Tafirenyika worked at UN Headquarters as an information analyst before joining peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding missions in West Africa responsible for strategic communications and subsequently overseeing peacekeeping missions from UN Headquarters in Liberia and Sierra Leone. He has a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York, the United States, and a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe.
Maxwell Gomera

Maxwell Gomera

UNDP
UNDP Resident Representative
 
Experienced Director, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Economics, with a demonstrated history of working in the environmental management industry. Skilled in Natural Resource Management, Environmental Awareness, Sustainable Development, Policy Analysis, and Sustainability. Strong community and social services professional graduated from The University of Western Australia.
WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa

Menghestab Haile

WFP
WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa
 
I am currently serving as the WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa based in Johannesburg.

Before moving to South Africa, I served as the WFP Country Director and Representative in Egypt. I have occupied diverse professional posts ranging from a university lecturer in Ethiopia, Research Scientist in the UK, government civil servant in Ethiopia, international private sector consultant in IGAD and most recently the UN WFP. Since joining WFP, I have worked in the Sudan leading a food security and early warning system development, then I moved to the Head Quarters of the organization in Rome, Italy to lead the GIS and remote sensing section of WFP with a global responsibility, then I was appointed as Senior Policy Advisor of the Deputy Executive Director of Hunger Solutions and then I was appointed Deputy Director of the WFP Africa office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with main responsibility liaising with the African Union, NEPAD and ECA. Since 2016 I am serving as WFP Country Director and Representative here in Egypt.

I received my PhD in Meteorology from the University of Reading, UK and I have published several papers and I am regularly invited to speak at international conferences in the area of food security monitoring, climate change and technological applications. My professional interest revolves around capacity building of national governments and developing strategic partnerships with the AUC, NEPAD and Regional Economic, Communities (RECs) in the areas of early warning and Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping (VAM), Disaster reduction and Risk Management including (such as the innovative Africa Risk Capacity - ARC), emergency response, and applications of GIS and remote sensing. More recently I am engaged in building and facilitating strong Public Private Partnerships and contributing to a South South Cooperation.
I strongly believe and advocate for African integration and building strong partnerships among African institutions and countries.
Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun

Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun

UNEP
Head of UNEP Southern Africa, Sub-Regional Office
 
Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun (Ph.D) has over 25 years’ professional experience in Earth and natural science, Energy Management, Project management. She holds a Ph.D in Earth Science, Geothermics. Her career began in Ethiopia culminating in becoming Head of Department in GSE (Ministry of Mines and Energy) managing Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, Geothermal Divisions. She is internationally recognized and acclaimed professional with experience in renewable Energy programme management includingGeothermalEnergyexplorationanddevelopmentinAfrica. ShewasalsoProgrammeManager for Africa Rift Geothermal Development Facility Programme (ARGeo).

Throughout her career at UNEP Africa Office, she has demonstrated professionalism in her work with Member States and she has exceptionally managed the implementation of major projects in several countries, including South Africa and other SADC countries. These include: ( i) Regional African Rift Geothermal Development Facility Project (ARGeo); (ii) Clean Captives installations for industrial clients in Sub Saharan Africa; (iii) Energy Access and Green Transition Programme; and (iv) Women Entrepreneurs and Sustainable Energy in Africa.

She has also been closely involved in different regional and international assignments of the ICS-UNIDO and the African Union Commission (AUC) including in designing the AUC-KfW Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility for Eastern Africa Countries. As a regional Energy programme coordinator she has been involved with development of regional documents on renewable energy through programmes such as (a) African Hub for Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL); (d) UNEP-AfDB’s Africa Energy Resources Atlas; (e) African Renewable Energy Initiative.

She has always focused on Capacity Development in Africa with zeal and has been instrumental in conceptualizing and making possible the African Geothermal Center for Excellence. Meseret has played a leading role in the initiative and development of programmes for support to Women Entrepreneurs in Energy sector in Africa. She was instrumental in setting up the African Geothermal Center for Excellence, a training institution for African countries. Meseret has been a regular faculty of UN University- Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland for many years and has been training geothermal staff in Africa as invited faculty.

In 2009 she served as editor of IPCC Panel of sub-section Renewable sources, Climate Change Mitigation: Geothermal Energy. Meseret is a recipient of many international professional awards and has authored more than 20 professional papers some earned international awards.

Since August 2021, Dr. Zemedkun assumed Officer in charge as a head of UNEP South Africa office.

Monique Ekoko

Monique Ekoko

UNHCR
Representative at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
 
Monique Ekoko is a Cameroonian national and is the newly appointed Representative of the South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO) based in Pretoria, South Africa that was established as a result of UNHCR’s Decentralisation and Regionalisation process. Ms. Ekoko has just ended her mission as Representative of the UNHCR Multi-Country (MCO Office) in Dakar, Senegal which she has headed since March 2020. Previously, she was Representative in Malawi from July 2015 to December 2019 and prior to that she served as Deputy Representative to the UNHCR Representation to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (RAUECA) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ms Ekoko joined UNHCR in 1993 and has gained 29 solid years of experience working with UNHCR in various capacities including holding several managerial positions. She has served UNHCR in many countries namely Kenya, Serbia, Switzerland, South Africa, Botswana, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Malawi mostly working in the areas of legal protection and policy.
Ms Ekoko has a passion for working with marginalised groups including asylum seekers and refugees and has championed this cause in most of her assignments.
She holds a bachelor’s degree (LLB) in English Private Law, a post-graduate Diploma in International Shipping Law, and a Master’s degree (LLM) in International Maritime Law from the University the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon and the from University of London in the United Kingdom respectively.
Oumar Sylla

Oumar Sylla

Director Regional Office for Africa chez UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme)
 
Since January 2020 Oumar Sylla has been acting as Director for the Regional Office for Africa in the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat). Before this, he was Branch Coordinator, Urban Legislation, Land and Governance in UN Habitat and, from September 2015, Head of UN Habitat’s Land and GLTN Unit. Prior to joining the Land and GLTN Unit, Oumar served as a Senior Advisor in UN Habitat’s Regional Office for Africa and focal point to support urban policies development and sustainable urbanization in francophone countries. From 2009 to 2014, he was Chief Technical Advisor for UN Habitat’s Land Programme in DR Congo and he also has experience with the European Union framework, which he gained as a Land Policy Advisor in South Sudan and Burkina Faso (2006-2008). From 1999 to 2005 he was a Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Legal Anthropology in Paris 1 Sorbonne, mainly working on land and decentralization policies in West Africa. In Senegal, he operated as a junior researcher within the ILRI/ ISRA institutional cooperation framework (1998-1999) dealing with land and natural resources.
YU YU

Yu Yu

UNFPA
UNFPA Representative (South Africa) , Country Director ( Botswana, Eswatini)