New Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh Joins UNECA

Addis Ababa, 3 October, 2005 (ECA) - Senior UN manager and Africa specialist Abdoulie Janneh assumes his new post as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Monday.

Mr Janneh comes to ECA after a 26-year career with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), culminating in his position as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, a post he has held in New York since June 2000. In that role, he managed UNDP activities in 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a complement of over 1,500 staff.

Speaking in Addis, Friday, Mr Janneh said he was looking forward to working with a team that had "done great things for Africa over the past ten years."

He praised the leadership of his outgoing Executive Secretary, K.Y. Amoako, adding: "I want to give him the assurance that we will continue to follow his commitment, hard work, and dedication to African priorities, as defined by Africans and their institutions, particularly the AU, to really make sure that this decade belongs to Africa."

K.Y. Amoako served as ECA Executive Secretary for ten years, 1995-2005. Introducing his successor to staff, he said he was leaving ECA "in a brother's hands." He told Mr Janneh: "You bring to this job, tremendous experience and a strong commitment to the cause of Africa's development. Under your leadership, I am convinced that what we started here will be strengthened and will even be pushed to further heights."

Mr Janneh has long experience working with core elements of the ECA work programme, notably the promotion of good governance, economic reform, the fight against HIV/AIDS, fair trade, crisis prevention and poverty eradication.

He sees the institutional transformation of the African Union and the successful implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), including the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), as initiatives critical to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals across the continent.

Before his most recent position at the head of UNDP's Africa Bureau, Mr Janneh served as UNDP's Resident Representative in Ghana (l996-l999) and also in Niger (l993- l996).

He was previously the Deputy Executive Secretary for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (l990-1993). Before that he was the Deputy Resident Representative in Guinea (l984-l986) and later in Sierra Leone (l987-l989). He originally joined UNDP in October l979.

Mr Janneh came to the UN as a development planner from the Government of Gambia. He holds an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning studies from the University of Nottingham in England. He also attended Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone (Engineering Science), as well as the University of Bradford, England (Project Planning and Appraisal), and the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank (Project Management).

Issued by the ECA Communication Team

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