Secretary-General appoints Ms. Seraphine Wakana of Burundi as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone
05 December 2023
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Ms. Seraphine Wakana of Burundi as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, with the host Government’s approval. Ms. Wakana has more than 28 years of experience in coordination, political engagement, economics and development planning.
Prior to her current appointment, she had also served as the UN Resident Coordinator in The Gambia, where she led UN efforts in supporting the national development priorities of The Gambia to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. Under her leadership and guidance, the UN Country Team in the Gambia has provided technical support and strategic guidance through the different UN agencies operational in the country.
Prior to this appointment, Seraphine was UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Guinea (2014-2018). She was assigned as Senior Economist, Regional Office of the African Development Bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2010-2014) and she acted as the Bank's Resident Representative (2011-2012). From 2005-2010, Seraphine worked as an International Consultant with UNDP, the African Development Bank and the World Bank. She served at the same time as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea in Burundi.
Seraphine was Minister of Development Planning and Reconstruction (2002-2005) and Chief of Staff with the same Ministry of the Government of Burundi (1997-1999). From 2000-2002, she worked as a Professional Researcher on poverty reduction, public-private sector interface and gender with the Burundi Economic Development Institute in Bujumbura. Seraphine held a series of executive positions with the Institute of Statistics and Economic and Social Studies of Burundi, including as Deputy Director (1996-1997), Head of the Statistical Processing Division (1990-1996) and Head of the Household Statistics Section (1987-1989).
Seraphine holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Administration from the University of Burundi, Bujumbura.