UN appoints Sierra Leone’s Bangura to head Nairobi office

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced appointment of Sierra Leone’s Zainab Hawa Bangura as director-general of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).

In a statement on Monday, Mr Guterres thanked Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), who has been serving as acting director-general.He said she will continue to hold the office until Ms Bangura takes over.


Mr Guterres described Ms Bangura as a “relentless advocate for conflict resolution and reconciliation, and human rights champion”.He noted that she was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict from 2012 to 2017.

“She began her United Nations career in the mission in Liberia, where she was responsible for management of the largest civilian component of the mission, including promoting capacity-building of government institutions and community reconciliation,” he said.


Ms Bangura was Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health and Sanitation from 2010 to 2012 and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 2007 to 2010.She has also served as Executive Director of the National Accountability Groups as well as Coordinator and Co-founder of the Campaign for Good Governance.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and advanced diplomas in insurance management from the University of London and Nottingham University.


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