The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres recently appointed a new female Special Adviser on Africa─ Ms. Bience Gawanas of Namibia.

Ms. Bience who is currently the Special Adviser to Namibia’s Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has also served as Special Adviser on health, social affairs and poverty in Namibia and is known as a champion of women’s health and rights on the continent.

She served two terms as AU Commissioner for Social Affairs with focus on development and advocacy in areas including health and HIV/AIDS, migration and population, labor, and arts and culture.

Her appointment as UN Special Adviser is a decision welcomed by the African Union (AU), who said;

“Africa will be well served and we look forward to working with Ms Gawanas and the rest of the United Nations family to further our common agenda for Africa,” said AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

She holds an LLB Honours degree from the University of Warwick, UK, and an Utter Barrister Degree from the Council of Legal Education School of Law/Lincolns Inn, UK. She also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and an honorary doctorate degree in Law from the University of Western Cape.

On the account of her appointment, the Secretary-General commends Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt, her predecessor for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization. As well as Mr. David Mehdi Hamam who served as Acting Special Adviser since Mr. Abdelaziz’s departure.