Mozambique’s Antonio Pedro to Head UNECA

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By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh

A Mozambican geologist, Mr Antonio Pedro, has been appointed as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) with effect from Thursday, September 1, 2022.

He is taking charge of the organisation after Ms Vera Songwe announced the end of her five years of dedicated service to ECA and its member states on August 22.

“It has been a privilege to work with you and serve the whole UN system. I cannot express enough my appreciation for the support, encouragement, guidance, patience, and friendship I received throughout these years from you,” said Ms Songwe.

Under her leadership, ECA played a key role in promoting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at national, subregional and continental levels; advocating for adequate resources to finance Africa’s COVID-19 recovery initiatives; fostering public-private partnerships; and promoting local manufacturing to ensure sustainable economic growth and reduce growth volatility in Africa.

In a final farewell note to staff on August 31, Ms Songwe said she was “pleased to convey the Secretary-General’s decision to designate Antonio Pedro (ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Programme Support) as Acting Executive Secretary, beginning September 1, 2022, until further notice.” She urged staff to extend their full support to Pedro.

Previously, Pedro held the post of Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and put in charge of programme support. According to biological records, he is a specialist in mineral exploration with over thirty years of experience in development issues and management at the national, sub-regional, and continental levels.

He joined UNECA in 2001 where he has held several senior positions. Between 2001 and 2009 he was the head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources Development based in Addis Ababa, focussing on mining, water, transport, and energy development.

Amongst his achievements was spearheading the formulation of the Africa Mining Vision which was adopted by the African Union summit. He has also served as the Director for UNECA’s sub-regional offices for Eastern Africa (between 2009 and 2016) and Central Africa (between 2016 and 2021).

UNECA was established in 1958 as one of the United Nations’ five regional commissions, with a mandate to promote economic and social development, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

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