Our Team in Sierra Leone

Babatunde A. Ahonsi

Babatunde A. Ahonsi

RCO
Resident Coordinator
Mr Ahonsi has more than two decades of experience in international development. He recently served as the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in China after occupying leadership positions with UNFPA, including Representative in China, Country Director for Mongolia, and Representative in Ghana.
Mr Ahonsi holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and a doctorate in population studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK
Abdu Muwonge

Abdu Muwonge

World Bank
Country Manager
Abdu Muwonge is the Country Manager for Sierra Leone (AFWVP). Abdu, a Ugandan national, joined the Bank in 2006 as a Young Professional. He has served as Senior Urban Specialist at the World Bank based in Kenya, where he led and coordinated the urban and devolution work program. He has previously served as Acting Program Leader for Sustainable Development covering Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda. Prior to joining the Africa region, he served in the South Asia Region where he led and supported programs on local government and water and sanitation in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. He has worked in the Eastern and Central Asia region in the Human Development Economics Unit contributing to the Ukraine, Serbia and Moldova work program.

Prior to joining the Bank, Abdu worked as a Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) in Uganda and has previously taught undergraduate economics and statistics at Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda.

Abdu holds a PhD and M.A in Economics (Public Finance) both from Georgia State University (USA), M.A in Economics from University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and a BSC in Economics from Makerere University (Uganda). He brings more than 20 years of working experience in development. Abdu’s top three priorities will be to: (i) Lead and oversee the day-to-day dialogue with the Government of Sierra Leone and key partners and stakeholders; (ii) Manage the Country Office, provide leadership and mentoring to the staff, as well as ensuring a stimulating work environment; and (iii) Continue efforts to improve the development impact of the Bank’s portfolio in the country.
Steve Nsubuga

Steve Nsubuga

WFP
Representative and Country Director
 
Mr Nsubuga has 29 years of experience with the UN, including 26 years with WFP. Most recently, he served for three years in South Sudan as Deputy Country Director. Before that, he was assigned for five years to WFP’s Eastern African Bureau in Nairobi as Regional Logistics Officer. He also served at WFP country offices in Sudan, Ethiopia, Angola, Kenya, Angola, and at HQs in Rome.
Mr Nsubuga holds a master's degree in Transport Planning and Engineering from Leeds University, UK.
Dmitri Sanga

Dimitri Sanga

UNESCO
Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) in Dakar (Senegal).
On 28 August 2018, the Director-General of UNESCO appointed Mr. Dimitri Sanga (Canada), Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) in Dakar (Senegal) and UNESCO Representative to Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Niger.

He officially took up his duties on 1 September 2018, and OIC of UNESCO Abuja Multisectoral Office on 1st January 2021.

He holds a PhD and a Master's degree in Economics with a specialisation in econometrics from Laval University (Canada), as well as a Bachelor's degree in Wood Science and Engineering from the same institution. Mr Sanga began his professional career in 1999 in the teaching of micro- and macro-economic sciences at the University of Ottawa (Canada), in parallel with a career as a Statistical Economist (1999-2004) with the Government of Canada.

In 2005, he joined the United Nations as Head of the Statistics Team at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa - UNECA (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). In 2006, he was appointed Head of Statistical Development and Data Management at UNECA. In 2010, he was appointed Director of the Statistics Division of the Economic Commission for Africa.

Before joining his post in Senegal, he was, since September 2013, the Director and Representative of the Sub-regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, based in Niamey (Niger).
UNAIDS Country Representative, Mr. Isaac Offei Ahemesah

Isaac Ahemesah

UNAIDS
Country Representative
 
Before his current role, Mr Ahemesah ( Ghana) has worked since 1997 with UNAIDS in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Malawi in different positions. He also worked with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the Netherland Development Organization (SNV).
Mr Ahemesah is a public health practitioner. He holds a Master of Public Health in Health Systems Management from Tulane University, USA and a Master’s in Health Development from Royal Tropical Institute, Netherlands.
IOM Head of Office, Dr. Bagonza James

James Bagonza

IOM
Head of Office
Dr Bagonza James (Uganda) has more than 15 years' experience in migration management, public health, disaster management and emergency response. He has worked with IOM for six years in various capacities, most recently as a program manager. He led IOM's Ebola response mission in Sierra Leone during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.
He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and a Master of Public Health degrees from Makerere University, Uganda.
Jocelyn Fenard

Jocelyn Fenard

UNFPA
Officer-in-Charge
Jocelyn Fenard, a French national is the Officer-In-Charge, UNFPA in Sierra Leone as well as Regional Advisor for strategic partnerships and resource mobilization in the UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office based in Dakar, Senegal. He has more than 20 years of programme management experience in development and multilateral affairs with UN agencies. This also includes leading the development of strategic partnership engagement and resource mobilization, and in managing capacity development programmes with a geographic focus on Africa.

As Regional Adviser, his work is centred on two dimensions. One is providing advice to the Regional Director on engagement with institutions of potential interest for UNFPA and on developing relationships with UNFPA financial partners. The other is supporting the twenty-three UNFPA country offices in their outreach efforts towards donors and partners.

Prior to joining the UNFPA in 2013, Mr Fenard worked with the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in different capacities. He worked as Initiator and Director of the Antwerp International Training Centre on Corporate Social Responsibility established in close collaboration with private sector networks and organizations; as Chief of partnerships and resource mobilization for the Institute; and as coordinator of programmes dealing with environmental issues as well as on human development programmes in complex contexts.

Mr Fenard started his professional career with the European Space Agency in Frascati (Roma), Italy, in the Earth Observation and Promotion division.
UNIDO Country Representative, Ms. Mariatu  Swaray

Mariatu Abionor Swaray

UNIDO
Country Representative
 
Ms Mariatu SWARAY was appointed UNIDO Sierra Leone Country Representative in March 2017. Previously, she worked with UNDP Sierra Leone as the Energy and Environment Programme Specialist and led the development of key initiatives in climate change environment and development. She has also worked with the Government of Sierra Leone and a private firm. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Sierra Leone
IMF Resident Representative, Dr. Monique Newiak

Monique Newiak

IMF
Resident Representative
Ms Newiak started her work as IMF Resident Representative for Sierra Leone in September 2019. At the IMF, she has on a broad range of countries and issues in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, the West African Economic and Monetary Union, The Gambia, and most recently as a Senior Economist for Nigeria.
She holds master's degrees in business administration and economics, and a PhD in economics from Munich University.
UNOPS Country Manager, Nicholas Mark GARDNER

Nicholas Gardner

UNOPS
Country Manager
Mr Gardner was appointed Country Manager for UNOPS Sierra Leone in July 2016. He is a Chartered Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the design and project management of infrastructure projects worldwide with both the private and public sector. He joined UNOPS as a Project Manager in South Sudan in 2009 and afterwards moved to UNOPS HQ in Copenhagen as the Head of Construction Management.
FAO Country Representative, Nyabenyi Tito Tipo

Nyanbenyi Tito Tipo

FAO
Country Representative
 
Dr Nyabenyi Tipo was appointed FAO Country Representative in Sierra Leone in 2016 after joining the organization in 2102. She has over 25 years of development work experience, including with African Development Solutions,Vétérinaires Sans Frontières and Save the Children UK.
Dr Tipo holds a bachelor’s degree in veterinary sciences from the University of Khartoum and MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics from the University of Nairobi.
Pa Lamin Beyai

Pa Lamin Beyai

UNDP
Resident Representative
Mr. Pa Lamin Beyai, from The Gambia took up assignment as Resident Representative in Sierra Leone on 27 January 2021. He has over 27 years of technical, development management and leadership experience, including over 22 years in the United Nations System.

Prior to this appointment, he served as Resident Representative, UNDP Liberia (2019 - 2021) . He also served as UNDP Country Director in Liberia (2017 2019), UNDP Country Director in the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2013-2017); Economic Advisor & Team Leader, Inclusive Growth Cluster at the UNDP Ghana from (2009-2013); Health Economist at WHO Inter-Country Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa based in Zimbabwe; supporting 18 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa in immunization programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and advising on Financial Sustainability of introducing new Vaccines in health systems; Health Economist at the World Health Organization (WHO) Office in The Gambia (1999 - 2006).

Before joining the UN, Pa Lamin held various positions of increasing responsibility at The Gambia Public Transport Corporation (GPTC) from (1994-1999), including as Senior Manager Administration & Human Resources (1997-1999), Manager Corporate Management Services (1995-1997), and Corporate Management Services Officer (1994-1995).

Pa Lamin holds a Ph.D. in Economics with a focus on Health Economics, from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, United Kingdom; a Master of Science in Finance (Economic Policy) from School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, United Kingdom; a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom; a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Economics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone; and a Postgraduate Diploma from Curtin University of Technology, Australia.

Suleiman Braimoh

Suleiman Braimoh

UNICEF
Country Director
Mr Suleiman Braimoh's career with UNICEF spans over 21 years of serving in different senior capacities, including UNICEF Representative for Liberia (2016 – 2019), Eretria (2013 – 2016) and Guyana and Suriname (2009 – 2013).
Dr Braimoh holds a PhD and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Sociology, University of Wisconsin (USA) and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Benin (Nigeria).
Ms. Vanessa Phala

Vanessa Phala

ILO
Director
Ms Vanessa Phala, a South African national is the Country Director of the ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Prior to this appointment, she worked as a Senior Specialist (Employers’ Activities) at the ILO Office for the Caribbean, in Port of Spain. Before that, she undertook several leading roles in the public and private sectors from 2004 to 2016. She was the Executive Director in charge of Social and Transformation Policy at Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), a non-profit company representing organised business in South Africa. She also served as the Director of the Ethics and Integrity Management Unit and Special Anti-corruption Unit of the South African Department of Public Service and Administration. Her professional career began in 2004, as an Assistant Director in the Policy Research and Analysis Unit of the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Ms Phala graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2004 where she obtained a Master’s Degree in International Relations and from the University of the West Indies in 2021 where she obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration.