Abdoulie Janneh hails from the Gambia in West Africa and is the seventh Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). He leads the organisation, the regional arm of the United Nations in Africa, at the rank of Under-Secretary-General. Prior to ECA, Mr. Janneh served as Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa from June 2000 to October 2005. In that capacity, he managed United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) largest Regional Bureau, covering 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a complement of over 1,500 staff. Prior to that, he held a number of senior positions in UNDP and its affiliated funds, including Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Ghana (1996-1999) and Niger (1993-1996), as well as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (1990-1993).
Mr. Janneh played an instrumental role in strategy and policy-setting in UNDP and championed institutional change and development in the organization, having led in 1999 the Transition Team of the former UNDP Administrator, Mark Malloch Brown. As a senior UN and UNDP manager, Mr. Janneh has been a strong advocate for development efforts that respond effectively to Africa’s national and regional priorities. Under his leadership, the UNDP Bureau for Africa made significant contributions to the promotion of good governance, economic reform, the fight against HIV/AIDS, fair trade, crisis prevention and poverty eradication. Mr. Janneh remains particularly interested in 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 critical initiatives for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Mr. Janneh has been striving to enhance partnership-building for Africa, as a necessary vehicle to mobilize support and build inclusiveness for shared development objectives, and has been able to cultivate strong partnerships at the highest levels with programme and donor governments, the private sector, civil society, as well as national, regional and international organizations. He also serves on the advisory panels of a number of organizations involved in Africa’s development and has delivered over the years a number of keynote addresses, policy statements and written articles on issues germane to Africa’s development. Mr. Janneh joined UNDP in 1979 as a development planner from the administration of his home country. He holds an MA in Urban and Regional Planning Studies from the University of Nottingham in England. He also graduated from Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone (Engineering Science) and undertook post-graduate studies in Project Planning and Appraisal at the University of Bradford in England.
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