Our Team in South Africa

 Christine Muhigana

Christine Muhigana

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

Regional Representative
Ms. 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.
Anne Githuku-Shongwe

Anne Githuku-Shongwe

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.
Resident Representative

Ayodele Odusola

Resident Representative
Dr Odusola assumed his role as UNDP Resident Representative in June 2019. Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Economist and Head of the Strategy and Analysis for the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa team in New York. He is no stranger to South Africa having previously served as Senior Economic Adviser for UNDP South Africa.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Dr. Odusola worked with the Presidency of Nigeria (1993-2015). Dr Odusola has lectured in several universities in Africa and has published over 50 articles in national and international journals, editing and authoring books as well as technical reports. In 2001, he was the African Visiting Scholar to the International Monetary Fund.


Brave Ndisale

FAO Representative
Ms Ndisale, a national of Malawi, holds a Doctorate in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota in the United States, a Master of Science in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida in the United States, and a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and Mathematics from the Chancellor College, University of Malawi.

She started her career in 1981 as Agricultural Economist with the Government of Malawi and also as Research Economist. From 1993 to 2002, she worked as a consultant for FAO and various international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the areas of sustainable development, agriculture and food security. In 2002, she joined FAO as Policy Officer in the Regional Office for Africa, in Accra, Ghana. Between 2004 and 2007, she served as Head of the Rural Economy Division with the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 2007 to 2008, she was Programme Leader for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) out-posted in Abuja, Nigeria. In 2008, she was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Malawi to Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Principality of Monaco and Switzerland, as well as Permanent Representative to the EU, UNESCO, WTO and Rome-based Agencies
(RBAs) where she served until 2014. She returned to FAO headquarters in 2014 as Deputy Director of the Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division (ESP) and in 2016 she was designated Director ad interim ESP. Since 2017, she has been serving as Strategic Programme Leader for Hunger Eradication, Food Security and Nutrition Programme (SP1).
Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi

Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi

Regional Director ad interim for UNFPA, East and Southern Africa.
Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi is the Regional Director ad interim for UNFPA, East and Southern Africa.
Over the last twelve years, Bannet has provided leadership as Deputy Representative and Representative to the UNFPA Nigeria, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Liberia country offices. Throughout this time, he successfully drove the implementation of country programmes, improved government relationships and enhanced resource mobilization efforts. Prior to joining UNFPA, Bannet held several Programme Management and leadership roles with Management Sciences for Health, Commonwealth Community and GIZ.
Bannet holds a Medical Degree, a Master’s Degree in Public Health and PhD in Public health from the University of Heidelberg. He holds a Diploma in Medical Specialties from the Institute of Tropical Medicine and a Certificate in Administrative/Managerial Science from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Dr. Owen Kaluwa

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 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.
Jane Marie Ongolo UNODC

Jane Marie Ongolo

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.
Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa

Joni Musabayana

Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa
Dr Joni Musabayana is the Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa based in Pretoria covering 18 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa technically and five countries politically and administratively. During his career with ILO, he notably served as He has worked as a project staff in Harare (1992 – 2002), Chief Technical Adviser in Geneva (2002 – 2004), Global Coordinator of Start and Improve Your Business programme in Addis Ababa (2004 – 2009), Enterprise Specialist in Pretoria (2009 – early 2016) and as Deputy Director of the ILO Pretoria Decent Work Team and Country office.
Dr. Joni Musabayana has a Doctorate in Business Leadership from UNISA School of Business leadership, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and a BSc in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Levy Maduse

Levy Maduse

Acting - UNIDO Representative
Mr. Maduse is currently the Acting UNIDO Representative. He has been with UNIDO Regional Office (Pretoria) as a National Programme Officer (NPO) since 2010. The Regional Office covers 10 countries in SADC. Prior to this appointment he was a management Consultant at Fevertree Consulting. He also worked for a number of years at Eskom, initially as a Senior Environmental Advisor and later Business Consultant.
Mr Maduse has a number of qualifications, namely: MBA from Hamburg University of Technology-TUHH (Germany), MPA from Harvard Kennedy School (USA), M.Sc. from University of Witwatersrand, BA (hons) from McMaster University (Canada)
Lily Sanya, Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) South Africa

Lily Sanya

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.
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

Country 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.
Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun

Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun

Head of the UN Environment Office in South Africa
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.

Prof. Hubert Gijzen, UNESCO Representative for Southern Africa

Prof. Hubert Gijzen

UNESCO Representative for Southern Africa
Prof. Hubert Gijzen holds a PhD in Biotechnology and joined UNESCO in 2006 as the Director of the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. In 2015, he was appointed as the Regional Director of the newly established UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe. In this capacity he also serves as the UNESCO Representative to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He also is the UNESCO Representative to SADC, and he serves on the UN Regional Directors Team for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Ms. Tlangelani Shilubane, UNFPA South Africa Country Office Assistant Representative and Officer-In-Charge

Tlangelani Shilubane

Country Office Assistant Representative and Officer-In-Charge
Ms. Tlangelani Shilubane, is currently serving as the UNFPA South Africa Country Office Assistant Representative and Officer-In-Charge.  Prior to this she had been with the UNFPA, East and Southern Africa Regional Office in Johannesburg, as a regional programme coordinator.  In addition, Tlangelani has more than 15 years’ experience of working in South Africa, in the National Department of Health as well as within civil society to advance the health and rights of women and young people for sustainable development.  
Valentin Tapsoba, Regional Director for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for Southern Africa

Valentin Tapsoba

Regional Director, Southern Africa
Valentin Tapsoba is the UNHCR Regional Director for Southern Africa, covering 14 countries. He has worked with the refugee agency for the past 26 years in various leadership capacities at its headquarters in Geneva and several eld operations in sub- Saharan Africa and Asia.
Valentin Tapsoba is a national of Burkina Faso. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Ouagadougou University and a Masters Degree in International Business Transactions from George Mason University in the United States.