Kigali, 25 October 2012

President Kagame today received new heads of the United Nations, UNICEF and the African Development Bank. President Kagame also met the CEO of IKEA Foundation, Per Heggens, who paid him a courtesy call. IKEA Foundation is UNICEF’s largest corporate partner in areas of education, child survival and disaster risk reduction.

Lamin M. Manneh, aGambian national, was appointed as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Rwanda on September 12. Prior to his appointment in Rwanda, Manneh served as the UN Resident Coordinator in Congo Brazzaville for four years. Since 1996, Lamin Manneh has served in several Senior Managerial Positions within the United Nations Development Programme, both at Headquarters as well as in Country Offices. Before serving UNDP, Lamin Manneh worked with the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as with the Ministry of Economic Planning and the Central Bank in the Gambia.

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Negatu Makonnen, the new African Development Bank representative in Rwanda has been serving for 10 years at the AfDB Head Quarters in the Economic department. He has a PhD in Economics from Sweden. Prior to joining AfDB he worked with the Government of Ethiopia.

Before her appointment as UNICEF Representative to Rwanda, Noala Skinner, a UK national, served as UNICEF Representative to Montenegro. Skinner also served as Chief of Education with UNICEF in Hanoi, Vietnam before working as Project Officer for Education with UNICEF Headquarters in New York.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Lamin M. Manneh, the new United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative said his main objective was to improve the existing cooperation between UN agencies and the Government of Rwanda:

“Rwanda is the country where everybody wants to be right now; we are all impressed by the progress under the dynamic leadership of President Kagame. Rwanda has not only risen from a disadvantaged position but it’s becoming a leading nation in the continent in areas of health, poverty reduction education, ICT, aid effectiveness and seriousness and commitment of leaders. The UN has failed in Rwanda and we don’t want this to happen again and we aim to provide impactful support for years to come.”