New UNFPA Representative for Nigeria assumes office
• Promises to assist in tackling poverty, humanitarian needs, others
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) new Resident Representative in Nigeria, Dr Diene Keita, has resumed office with a promise to sustain the organization’s support for Nigeria, especially in the areas of poverty reduction, meeting humanitarian needs in northeast and maternal needs in the country.
Keita, who was appointed last month, presented her Letters of Credence to the Federal Government through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Geoffrey Onyeama, a statement from Media Associate of the UNFPA, Habib Kori, on Wednesday said.
Keita had served as Representative in Niger, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Burundi and Senegal. She had served at UNDP Headquarters as Evaluation Advisor , and had also served as the Chief of UNDP liaison Office to the Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA), and to the African Union in Addis Ababa. She joined UNFPA as Representative in Mauritania between 2006 and 2010, and Benin from 2010 to 2014.
She continued in that position from 2013 in serving as well as the interim United Nations Resident Coordinator for Benin until her departure to take her new position as Head of UNFPA in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in June 6, 2014, the statement stated.
Keita, a Guinean, holds a Doctorate in Law from the Sorbonne University, Paris, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She also holds a Diploma in Advanced Studies (DEA) in International Economics and Development Law from René Descartes University; Paris 5, and a Masters in Economic and Social Administration.
Mrs Keita is “a well-seasoned expert in development issues. Mrs Keita has worked extensively on inclusive growth, sustainable human development, young and adolescent leadership, family planning issues and gender-based violence in humanitarian settings,” the release said.
Part of the statement read: “As outlined in paragraph 34 of the Annex to the General Assembly resolution 32/197 of 20 December 1977, Dr. Keita, on behalf of the UNFPA, will have overall responsibility and exercise team leadership for the coordination of operational activities on Reproductive health “and rights, gender equality, data and Young people for development in Nigeria.
“During the presentation ceremony, Dr. Diene Keita promised to face the numerous challenges faced by the national authorities, especially in addressing poverty and responding to the development and humanitarian needs of the North Eastern, youths and maternal health issues in Nigeria. She pledged full support to the people and government of Africa’s largest economy in efforts aimed at meeting both short and long term development goals, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“She promised UNFPAs commitment, funds and programmes in the country to work closely with the government and other partners in implementing the national development agenda, and to intensify efforts that will sustain development advances the country.”
Some of the awards and merits Keita has won in maternal health and family planning include Commander of the Order of National Merit, awarded by Mauritania; Commander of the National Order awarded by the Republic of Benin,
She is married and has a child.