In a statement released by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, Burundian Seraphine Wakana has been named as the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Sierra Leone.
This announcement comes as she takes over the role from Nigerian Babatunde Ahonsi, who has been redeployed to Turkiye as the new UN Resident Coordinator.
Ms. Wakana, a former cabinet Minister of Burundi with over 28 years of experience in coordination, political engagement, economics, and development planning, has previously served the UN in various capacities, including as a consultant and resident representative.
Her appointment received approval from the Sierra Leonean government, according to the UN statement.
Before this role, Ms. Wakana held the position of UN Resident Coordinator in Gambia, where she played a key role in supporting the country’s national development priorities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda.
During her tenure, the UN Country Team in Gambia provided technical support and strategic guidance across different operational UN agencies.
With a rich international background, Ms. Wakana served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Guinea from 2014 to 2018.
She also contributed her expertise as a Senior Economist at the Regional Office of the African Development Bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo, showcasing a diverse range of experiences spanning assignments at the African Development Bank, World Bank, and UNDP.