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Type: Public event

Africa's Strategic Role in Charting a New Economic and Policy Path

Dr. Vera Songwe in conversation with Ambassador Kamissa Camara, Professor of Practice at Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy


Vera Songwe, Kamissa Camara

Date & time

Mar 26, 2024, 1:00-2:30 pm EDT


About the Event:

In light of Dr Songwe's appointment to the High-Level Independent Panel on financing the global commons for pandemic preparedness and response, this session will focus on the complex linkages between health equity and economic resilience in Africa. The speaker will shed light on the pathways to achieving health equity as a cornerstone for sustainable development and economic security in Africa. This conversation will also center around Dr Songwe's perspectives on Africa's place in the midst of global power dynamics and the evolving world economy. Their discussion will explore strategies for African nations to assert their agency, enhance their competitiveness, and secure their interests in a rapidly changing global order, drawing on Dr Songwe's extensive experience in international finance and economic policy-making. 

About the Speaker:

Vera Songwe is Chair and Founder of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility, a visiting senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Co-Chair of the Independent High Level Expert Panel on Climate Finance nominated by the government of the UK and Egypt for COP27 and also for the Egypt and the UAE under COP28 alongside Lord Nick Stern.  Dr. Songwe is a Co-Chair of the Food System Economics Commission, an independent interdisciplinary academic commission that equips political and economic decision makers with tools and evidence to shift food and land use systems.  She is the former United Nations Under-Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Previously, Songwe was the Regional Director of the International Finance Corporation, covering West and Central Africa.  She oversaw a multi-billion dollar portfolio of investments in energy, transportation, manufacturing and technology. Prior to this, she held a number of roles at the World Bank, including serving as Country Director, Adviser to the Managing Director for Africa, Europe and Central and South Asia. She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional. Prior to joining the Bank, she was a Visiting Researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota and at the University of Southern California.  Songwe was named African Icon of the year in 2022 by the African Bankers Association for her work on SDRs, Inflation, debt management and domestic resource mobilization. She was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by Jeune Afrique in 2021 as well the top 50 most influential African Women by Forbes Magazine in 2019 and by the Financial Times as among 25 Africans to watch.

She holds a PhD in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics, a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme d’études approfondies in Economic Science and Politics from Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. She also was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in December of 2022 and holds a B.A. in Economics and Political science, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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