Ahunna Eziakonwa takes the helm of UNDP’s Africa portfolio

Ahunna Eziakonwa OnochieAhunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa. Photo: UNDP/Andrew Hein

New York - Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa officially began her role today as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa.  In this role she will lead UNDP’s work supporting 46 countries in Africa to achieve Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“I warmly welcome Ahunna to my senior leadership team and to her new role leading UNDP’s important work in Africa across the 46 countries we serve,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.  “Her many years of experience both outside of and across UN systems – including extensive experience at country level – are not only an asset for UNDP’s work in Africa but also in helping craft the organization’s next generation offering. Ahunna is the right person to lead our work in Africa at this critical moment.”

Ms. Eziakonwa’s new role will be at the Assistant Secretary-General level.

“I am thrilled and honored for this opportunity to serve Africa at an important juncture in its development journey,” said Eziakonwa.  “I look forward to working with colleagues across the organization, and with the immensely talented and dedicated teams in New York and across the region, to support the countries we serve towards implementing their vision for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future.”

Ms.Eziakonwa succeeds Abdoulaye Mar Dieye who now leads UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.  The Administrator is grateful to Abdoulaye Mar Dieye for his leadership, and to Tegegnework Gettu for his leadership during this transition.

Ms. Eziakonwa has over 20 years of service with the United Nations, most recently as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia since 2015.  Before that, she served as Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Uganda and Lesotho, and held several posts with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as Chief of the Africa Section in New York and in duty stations in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Eziakonwa held a series of senior positions with civil society organisations in Africa.  She holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with a focus on Economic and Political Development, as well as a Bachelor’s of Education degree, English and Literary Studies from the University of Benin, Nigeria. 

Born in Nigeria, Ms. Eziakonwa is married and has a daughter.

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