Nardos Bekele Takes Office as AU Development Agency’s New CEO

ADDIS ABABA – Nardos Bekele-Thomas of Ethiopia has officially taken Office as New Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, the pan African bloc says today.

Nardos was confirmed as the first woman CEO of the AUDA-NEPAD by the leaders of African Union member states during their summit last February.

The former UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa succeeded Ibrahim Mayaki, who played an instrumental role in transforming NEPAD Secretariat to an African development agency.

The new CEO said “It is heartening to see the level of support” she is receiving from the heads of states, members of the NEPAD Steering Committee and the African Union Commission.

“I am humbled to be the CEO of AUDA-NEPAD and the expectations are very high,” Nardos said during the handover retreat convened with members of the NEPAD Steering Committee.

The continent, she said, has been faced with current challenges, but it is a good ground to be ready to anticipate and meet future challenges.

According to Nardos, creating more agility in Africa’s development agency, since the world as it is, is a world of crises. Agenda 2063 needs to become an agenda of the people of Africa – one that is owned by all and truly each one of us has a co-responsibility.

According to the African Union, members of the NEPAD Steering Committee welcomed the appointment of Nardos, noting that she has consistently, over the years, been promoting human development on the continent.

They also took the opportunity to recognize former CEO Mayaki’s role in the transformation of the NEPAD Secretariat into the continent’s development agency– AUDA-NEPAD.

The former CEO expressed his honor to hand over the baton to Nardos.

“Leaders on this continent have come to see NEPAD become a reality. Today, the secretariat is now the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, which is unique in the world. It is the only continental development agency in the world, covering 55 countries,” Dr Mayaki stated.

“I congratulate Ms Bekele- Thomas once more whole-heartedly as she takes up her role as AUDA-NEPAD CEO. It is an honor to hand over the baton to an incredible Africa-enthusiast with outstanding experience and knowledge,” said Dr Mayaki.

Nardos Bekele-Thomas was previously the Senior Director of the Office of the UN Secretary- General. She also served as Resident Coordinator for the UN in South Africa and as Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kenya and Benin. She is the author of several papers and monographs, and she is fully bilingual in French and English.

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