Dr. Coumba Mar Gadio of Senegal began her appointment as UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia on 3 May 2019. Coumba has worked for the United Nations for 18 years, serving in various functions and duty stations at the regional and at country levels. She recently served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Equatorial Guinea (2015 -2018). Previously, she served as the Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Mauritania (2010 - 2014). Coumba holds a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology and an M.A. in Women’s Studies from Ohio State University as well as a “Maitrise in Social Science” from “École des hautes études en sciences sociales” in Paris. She speaks fluent French and English.
Abigail Noko is the Regional Representative for Southern Africa at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She has worked at the OHCHR for the past 19 years in various capacities. In her current capacity, she is responsible for overseeing the work of the regional office which covers 14 countries (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). This includes providing technical assistance and advisory services in human rights to States, United Nations agencies, sub-regional organizations, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations.
Mr. Ambrosio Barros is the IFAD Country Director for Malawi and Zambia, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. After joining IFAD in 2010, he has mainly worked in operations leading the IFAD’s portfolios in various countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Haiti. Prior to IFAD, he managed a Master’s Programme at Sciences Po Paris, France, and served as a diplomat for the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Barros holds two Master’s degrees: one in History of International Relations from Paris-Sorbonne (France) and another in Public Administration from Columbia University in New York (USA).
Dr. Nathan Nsubuga Bakyaita has been WHO Representative to Zambia since 4 December 2017. Nathan is a medical doctor specializing in Public Health with experience spanning 26 years. He joined WHO as M & E Officer in the Malaria Program at WHO-AFRO (2005-2011); Medical Officer Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) at WHO-AFRO in Brazzaville (2011-2013); and WHO Malaria Adviser Kenya (2013-2017). Before joining WHO, he worked with the Ministry of Health, Uganda in the fields of HIV/AIDS control; Malaria Control and IDSR between 1994 and 2005. He holds a degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
Tharcisse Barihuta started his assignment as UNAIDS Zambia Country Director in August 2019. He has over 25 years professional experience in prevention and care of communicable diseases programming, oversight implementation, political advocacy, resource mobilisation and leading teams at regional and international levels. He spent four years representing Burundi in the Executive Committee of the Authority of Great Lakes initiative on HIV/AIDS involving Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, three years with the World Bank, Global Funds to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and three years as Special Advisor to the Minister of Health in Djibouti. He has worked with UNAIDS for 11 years and previously served as UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Djibouti, Middle East and North Africa Region, and UNAIDS Country Director in Namibia. Tharcisse is a Physician who worked in hospitals and also taught in medical school.
George Okutho has taken his new appointment, with effect from 1st January 2019, as the Director of the ILO Country Office for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique and Representative to COMESA. Prior to that, he was the Director of the ILO Country Office in Addis Ababa responsible for Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, South Sudan and Sudan. He was also the Special Representative to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). He holds a Master degree (M.Sc) in Human Resources Development from the University of Manchester, U.K; B.Stat (Upper second degree) from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda and has undertaken several courses in and led development cooperation work.
Gift Malunga is a development practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in strategic management, policy and programme development in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She has led and provided strategic guidance to teams at various levels with Government and international organizations in executing key initiatives aimed at promoting the rights, health and development of women and young people, including access to quality sexual and reproductive health services.
With a health background, Gift holds a Master of Science Degree in Demography and Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Sociology.
Hubert Gijzen, PhD
Regional Director and Representative for Southern Africa
Hubert Gijzen holds a PhD in Biotechnology, and has a career of over 38 years in both academics and in international cooperation. He has lived and worked in various countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, in a range of senior functions as Full Professor and Chair in Universities, as a diplomat, Team Leader, Regional Representative, and currently as UNESCO Regional Director and Representative for Southern Africa. He is UNESCO’s representative to SADC and COMESA. Besides his work for UNESCO, he continues to hold academic positions as full Professor in the Netherlands.
Prior to his appointment In Zambia, Isaac served for four (4) years in the Pacific region as the UNCDF’s Country Technical Specialist and was responsible for overseeing the financial inclusion programme for the Solomon Islands. He also earlier served as the Digital Finance associate for the UNCDF in Uganda, as well as working with the private sector, specifically from the FMCG, Telecommunication and financial inclusion consulting industries.
Isaac is a national of Uganda and holds a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Makerere University Kampala. He is married with two children.
Ms Bitonde has more than 22 years of experience in humanitarian and development work. Before her appointment as Country Director of WFP Zambia in August 2017, she served as Country Director of WFP Namibia. She started her career with WFP in 1995. She has also worked for WFP in Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Rwanda. Ms Bitonde holds a master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development from Sussex University, United Kingdom (UK) and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Makerere University in Uganda.
Khaled El Mekwad, from Egypt, has devoted more than 30 years to public service. Prior to his current position as UNIDO Regional Representative for Southern Africa based in Pretoria covering 10 SADC countries, he represented UNIDO at two duty stations in the MENA region: Sudan and Lebanon. During 12 years in the UN system he addressed Inclusive Sustainable Industrial Development, Sustainable Economic Growth, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Peace-building and Humanitarian work in Middle and Low-income countries.
Prior to this, he pursued a Diplomatic career in his national capacity for 19 years where he served as Alternate Representative at the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UN in Vienna, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Egypt in Dakar, and Political Officer at the Mission of Egypt to the EU in Brussels.
Lionel Laurens has been UNDP Resident Representative in Zambia since 2019. Prior to this assignment, he served as UNDP Guinea Country Director. From 2014 till 2015, he was UNDP Sierra Leone Head of Programmes and supported in reprogramming its interventions to respond to Ebola.
From 2008 till 2014, he was UNDP Iraq Inclusive Growth and Area Based Development Cluster Team Leader and managed a portfolio of projects focussing on local governance, service delivery, economic recovery and poverty reduction. Prior to that, he worked in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2008 as UNDP Programme Manager engaging with communities to rebuild rural infrastructures, deliver basic services and promote economic development. From 2002 to 2005, he contributed to the launch of the World Bank supported CDD Poverty Reduction Fund in Laos as Senior Technical Advisor. From 1997 till 2002, he worked with the Laotian Government, ILO and UNDP in developing participatory and integrated planning approaches.
Lionel started his career in development 25 years ago, working with NGOs on a variety of humanitarian issues in Cambodia, Haiti, Georgia and Liberia.
Lionel holds a Master of Engineering and Management from the French Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers, and an MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility at Ashridge Business School, UK.
Noala Skinner is the UNICEF Representative to the Republic of Zambia, based in Lusaka. She took up her post in July 2017. She leads a team working on a broad range of programmes in support of the rights and well-being of children and young people under the UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Noala also served as Director of UNICEF’s Partnership Office for Relations with the European Union Institutions, based in Brussels. Skinner is a national of the United Kingdom. In 1993, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Queens' College, University of Cambridge. In 1994, she obtained her Master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. She is married and has two sons.
Nomagugu Ncube has over 12 years working with IOM in managing migration health, gender, and displacement programmes. Prior to that she served in various portfolios within the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe. Nomagugu holds a Master’s in Public Health and an Honours in Development and Gender Studies.
Pierrine Aylara, assumed her official duties on 4 August 2017. Aylara, a Benin-Swiss national, prior to her appointment to Zambia served in various field locations including DRC, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Gabon, UNHCR’s Headquarters in Geneva in Geneva where she held several management positions;
She also served as UNHCR acting Country Representative in Mozambique and Angola prior to taking office in Zambia.
Rainer Frauenfeld is the Director of the UNOPS, Kenya Multi-Country Office (KEMC) covering East and Southern Africa. He established and led multiple UNOPS emergency and recovery operations in post/conflict and disaster situations. He managed several country and regional offices to provide UNOPS value adding services both in fragile and MIC settings. Prior to joining UNOPS, Rainer worked with multiple UN agencies and missions, NGOs and the private sector. He holds degrees in Law and Development Studies, is married and has two children.
Suze Percy Filippini was FAOR in the Republic of Congo before assuming the same position in Zambia. Having more than 25 years of multi-cultural leadership experience, Percy earlier held various prestigious positions under Government portfolios and represented her Country to the FAO in Rome, the UN in New York and the Organization of the American States (OAS) in Washington DC, enriching her professional experience in diplomacy, sustainable agriculture, strategic planning and programming. Percy Filippini holds Three (3) Master’s degree qualifications in International Service, Arts in Hemispheric Security and Defense, and in Science in Agricultural Engineering.
Thomas Chiramba is the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT) Senior Human Settlements Advisor in the Regional Office for Africa responsible for 12 Eastern and Southern African Countries. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering (Municipal Engineering) and a master's degree in architecture from Germany and has close to 30 years’ experience in urban development and management, sustainable infrastructure development, water and the environment. Previously, he was City Engineer for Kwekwe Municipality in Zimbabwe before assuming technical advisory positions with the USAID and the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ). Other previous jobs are Chief Technical Advisor for UNDP to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), UNEP Deputy Coordinator of its Dams and Development Programme and UNEP Chief of the Freshwater Ecosystems Unit, a post he held for close to 10 years before joining UN HABITAT.