Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Vera Songwe took up her role as the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on 3 August 2017 at the level of Under Secretary-General.

Prior to joining the ECA, she was Regional Director of the International Finance Corporation, covering West and Central Africa. In addition, she continues to serve as a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative. She is also a member of the African Union institutional reform team under the direction of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and a board member of the African Leadership Network and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a Visiting Researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota and at the University of Southern California.

She holds a PhD in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics and a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme d’études approfondies in Economic Science and Politics from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes College in Cameroon. Ms. Songwe has published widely on development and economic issues.

Authored Content

  • Mar 19 2019
    Blog Post Africa’s Voices on the AfCFTA: A Call for Inclusive Trade In November 2018, we were proud to organize the first ever Africa Trade Forum on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Nigeria. The convening examined the role that the AfCFTA could play in securing brighter futures for its bulging population of over 1 billion. The Agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 […] Mamadou Biteye, Vera Songwe
  • Nov 12 2018
    Blog Post African Trade Agreement: Catalyst for Growth Africa is growing, but not fast enough. In order for more than 400 million Africans to rise out of poverty, continued economic growth across Africa’s 54 nations will have to increase an average of 7% annually or more. One strong engine for growth is trade. But when it comes to trade, Africa is the least integrated region […] Mamadou Biteye, Vera Songwe