Our Team in Ghana

Charles Abani

Charles Abani

UN Resident Coordinator
A seasoned international development practitioner, Mr. Charles Abani has spent over 25 years leading inclusive transformation across the public, private and non-profit sectors through senior country, regional and international leadership, and non-profit board roles. Before joining the UN, Mr. Abani has worked across Africa, Asia, and in Europe with development organizations such as VSO, ActionAid International, Oxfam, Absolute Return for Kids, Palladium and Chemonics International. Mr. Abani’s work has contributed thought, programmatic and management leadership in multiple sectors to address poverty, accelerate growth and prosperity, strengthen peace, resilience and inclusion, as well as capability across diverse stakeholders, fostering transparent and accountable partnerships and sustainable solutions.

As UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, he provides strategic leadership for the entire UN Development System’s work, so as to support the Government and peoples of Ghana as they work towards their ambition to achieve self-reliance, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063.

From the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Abani holds a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Nigeria, an MSC in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria and an executive management certificate from Oxford University in the U.K.

He takes over from Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra who served in dual capacity as UN Resident Coordinator ai for 18 months and as Chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in charge of Ghana, Togo and Benin.


Angela Yayra Kwashie

OiC - Technical Specialist (Local Government Finance)
Angela Yayra Kwashie works with UNCDF as a Technical Specialist (Local Government Finance) in Accra, Ghana and doubles as the Officer in Charge of UNCDF in Ghana. She coordinates UNCDF activities with other UN agencies as well as key Ministries, Departments and Agencies, development partners and other stakeholders. She was from April 2016 till her current position in 2020, the National Project Coordinator of UNCDF’s Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL), a climate finance facility hosted at UNCDF.

In August 2012, Ms. Kwashie was posted to the DRC with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) under the UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) where she served as the Facilities and Camp Manager of the Engineering Section, mainly in the Equateur and North Kivu regions of the DRC. She was also the environmental focal point for the sector and occasionally travelling to twenty-one UN camps in the DRC made up of military troops and police units in addition to UN civilian offices under her area of responsibility, to ensure UN environmental standards are complied with by both military and civilian personnel. She occasionally served as the Officer-in-Charge of the Field Engineering Offices in MONUSCO regions posted.

Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Kwashie worked with the Canadian High Commission (2008 – 2012) as the International Development Assistant with the Global Affairs Canada, formerly the Canadian International Development Agency, where she had also occupied other positions. Before that (2004 – 2006), she was with the nascent postgraduate medical institution, the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GCPS) and played a critical role in its establishment as the first in Ghana.

Angela received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana and a master’s degree in Public Administration – International Development from the University of York, UK.

Bernard Henebeng Asamoah

OiC - National Programme Coordinator
Bernard has been an active member of the UN System in Ghana and has been leading the UNODC office for the past eleven (11) years, in providing intervention in the fight against serious & organized crime, and how to strengthen the criminal justice system. He is an International Relations and project management professional with over seventeen (17) years’ experience in Good Governance, trans-national organized crime interventions, peace building, anti-corruption, research, and Justice Sector Reforms (Rule of law).

Prior to joining the UN, Bernard was the Head of Research and Programme Unit of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and had a close working relationship with International organizations in Governance and national partners in the areas of Civil Society advocacy, monitoring and Evaluation of development Policies, Project Management and Public Policy Reforms.

Bernard holds Bachelor of Law (LLB) Degree from the Faculty of Law of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). B.A degree in Sociology with Political Science from University of Ghana, an Applied M.A in Development Policies from University of Bremen, Germany and another M.A in International Relations from Jacobs University, also in Germany.
Dr. kasolo

Dr. Francis Chisaka Kasolo

WHO Representative to Ghana
Dr Francis Chisaka Kasolo is an infectious disease Physician/Public Health Expert with specialization in clinical virology. He has worked with WHO in various capacities for the past 18 years. Prior to his appointment, Dr Kasolo was the Director in the office of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, responsible for advising the Regional Director on policy and strategic issues pertaining to the work of WHO.
He also previously served as Director for Ebola Preparedness with the United Nations Mission on Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER) in Accra, Ghana in 2014 and Director for Disease Prevention and Control at the WHO Regional Office for Africa from 2011 to 2014.
Dr Kasolo has over 30 years’ experience in public health and program management at both national and international level having worked in areas such as immunization, HIV/AIDs, emergencies and outbreaks and clinical virology.
He has committed much of his professional life to addressing the health challenges faced by mothers and children in Africa and has authored over 60 publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr Kasolo holds MBChB Medicine/Surgery from the University of Zambia, Master’s Degree-Public Health and, PhD - Clinical Virology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Physician, England.
Dr Kasolo is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh and Fellow of the College of Physicians for East, Central and Southern Africa.

Fiachra McAsey

UNICEF Representative a.i
Mr. Fiachra McAsey has served as UNICEF Deputy Representative in Ghana since July 2018. He is responsible for UNICEF’s ongoing support to the country, within the framework of the UNICEF-Government of Ghana Country Programme of Cooperation.

Fiachra is a national of Ireland. He joined UNICEF in 1999 as an analyst at UNICEF Supply Division in Denmark. Between 2002-2014, he held various technical advisory positions at UNICEF headquarters and the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, supporting country offices in strategic areas, including the design and management of UNICEF-supported programmes of cooperation. Between 2015-2018, Fiachra served as UNICEF Deputy Representative in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Fiachra is an economist. Prior to joining UNICEF, he held several positions in the private sector.
Ms Amal Elrefaei

Amal Elrefaei

Programme Management Officer
Ms Amal Elrefaei is a Programme Management Officer in the Division for Africa in the Department of Technical Cooperation at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), since 2017. Her role is to assist Member States in Africa to use nuclear Sciences and Technology to address their development priority needs.
From 2013 to 2016 she has been working for the Section of Radioisotope Products and Radiation Technology at the IAEA providing consultancy service in the area of Radiopharmacy.
From 1998 to 2013, Ms Elrefaei has held several positions: Lecturer of Radiopharmacy, Division of Radioisotope Production, Hot Lab and Waste Management Centre, Atomic Energy Authority, Egypt; Research Fellow, University of Vienna; and Research Fellow, Medical University of Vienna.
Ms Elrefaei is the Liason Officer between Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global and IAEA and is a member in the Executive Committee of WiN Global. She is also a member of the advisory editorial board and reviewer in several specialized international journals in the area of biotechnological and pharmaceutical research.
Ms Elrefaei holds a BSc in Pharmacy, Tanta University, Egypt; and MSc and PhD in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences from Cairo University, Egypt.
Barbara Clemens

Barbara Clemens

Representative and Country Director
Ms. Barbara Clemens has over 30 years of progressive experience in multi-functional roles in humanitarian and development programmes around the world.
In Ghana, Ms Clemens is leading WFP to facilitate programmes which improve food systems, nutrition, social protection and emergency preparedness and response, through impact investment and strategic partnerships which are being leveraged to transfer knowledge and strengthen the capacity of national institutions.

She joined WFP Ghana from Nigeria where she was the Head of Programme for one of the agency’s largest emergency operations. She played a pivotal role in cultivating and strengthening partnerships with the Federal Government at the national, subnational and community levels, working to ensure sustainability of food security and nutrition interventions.

Ms. Clemens was once WFP Deputy Country Director in Bangladesh, Head of Support Services in Jordan, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, in addition to roles in Sudan and Italy. She is credited with writing WFP’s directive on the scaled use of cash-based transfers in field operations.

Prior to joining WFP, she worked in the banking, finance and business assurance sectors with JPMorgan Chase Bank and Ernst & Young.

Barbara has a Masters’ in Business and Finance, Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and an Associates in Money and Banking.
UNDP Resident Representative

Dr. Angela Lusigi

Resident Representative
Dr. Angela Lusigi is the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Ghana since November 2020.
Dr. Lusigi has over 20 years of experience in developing national development strategies, socio-economic analysis, partnerships building, inclusive and sustainable development.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Lusigi was a Strategic Advisor in the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa in New York. She previously held other senior leadership positions in Africa, including serving as a Regional Program Advisor of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where she developed projects, supervised implementation and led resource mobilization for UNDP/UNEP’s poverty eradication and environment projects in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. She also served as an Assistant Resident Representative (Strategy and Policy) with UNDP in Nigeria.

Dr. Lusigi has also worked with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, all in Rome, Italy. She has also provided policy support to national programmes and projects in South Africa and Zambia.

Dr. Lusigi is from Kenya and holds Doctoral and Masters’ degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor's degree (honors) in economics and computer science from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
Fatima Denton

Dr. Fatima Denton

Director, UNU-INRA
Dr. Fatima Denton is an accomplished senior leader in the UN system with a depth of expertise in natural resource management, research and policy development. Prior to joining UNU-INRA, Dr. Denton had worked with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as Director of the Natural Resource Management Division and as Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre. She also worked with the Canada based International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where she managed high-impact action research, as an energy scientist with the United Nations Environment Programme Risoe Centre (Denmark) and as an energy programme manager with Enda Tiers Monde (Senegal).

Dr. Denton has written more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, reports, and books. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Birmingham (UK).
Dr. Ochan

Dr. Wilfred Ochan

Country Representative
Dr. Wilfred Ochan joins UNFPA Ghana Country Office with over 20 years of work experience having worked in peace, development, humanitarian and recovery contexts and with Government, NGOs and the UN system.

He joins the UNFPA Ghana Country Office from UNFPA Tanzania Country Office where he was UNFPA Deputy Representative for 3+ years. He previously served as UNFPA Deputy Representative in South Sudan (2016 - 2019); UNFPA Deputy Representative in Kabul, Afghanistan (2013 – 2016), he served on Detailed Assignment as Senior RH Adviser with the then UNFPA Africa Regional Office (August – November, 2013) in Johannesburg; and was an Assistant Representative with UNFPA Uganda Country Office from 2008 – 2013.

Prior to joining UNFPA, Wilfred worked with Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Uganda as Head of Strategy and Development leading a national programme for expansion of pediatric HIV/AIDS treatment and care, research and training in Uganda. He served as Regional Adviser with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (2004 – 2007) and as National Programme Manager (Director of Programmes) with Family Planning Association of Uganda (2002 – 2004). He was National Programme Officer with the Family Health Department of the Population Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (1997 – 2002). He started his work in clinical practice at Mulago National Referral Hospital and Complex as a Medical Officer with the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Wilfred Ochan is native of Uganda and holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from Makerere University in Uganda. He has a master’s degree in Community Health and Health Management from Heidelberg University, Germany.
UNHCR Representative

Esther Kiragu

Ms. Esther Wairimu Kiragu is a Lawyer by profession. She brings to the Ghana operation over 23 years of experience with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Having served in different capacities in different countries in Africa and in Europe, Ms. Kiragu has been actively involved in the search for creative solutions for protracted refugee situations and the promotion of protection for refugees and other forcibly displaced on the continent and in the world. She has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree in Nairobi, Kenya and Master of Laws (LLM) Degree in Auckland New Zealand.

Fatou Diallo Ndiaye

Chief of Mission - Ghana, Togo, Benin.
Fatou Diallo Ndiaye holds a master’s degree in Science of Local Development, a certificate in Administration Management and Diplomacy, and in Project Development/Implementation among others.

For the past 22 years, Fatou has occupied positions of Senior Operations Supervisor, Operations Coordinator, and Programme Manager. She has been Head of Office/Chief of Mission (CoM) since 2011 in Senegal, Niger, Guinea (Conakry) and Liberia/Sierra Leone, and most recently Norway.

In Norway, Fatou - the first female CoM in the country - strengthened collaboration with key partners, embassies, and the government in response to migrants’ needs and rights in the context of safe and voluntary return and labor migration.

Fatou has vast experiences and knowledge of the West and Central African region, which she has used successfully to contribute to migration governance, particularly in the areas of humanitarian post-crisis response, return and reintegration, and community stabilization - from the Libyan to the recent Mediterranean crisis. Fatou managed several migrant protection and reintegration initiatives focused on stabilizing migrants’ communities of origin. She also has vast experiences in joint initiatives as well as multi-agency, multi-partner, and multi-country programming which are key for the United Nation and important for migration management due to its transversality.

Fatou is a Senegalese.
Héctor Sucilla Pérez

Héctor Sucilla Pérez

Country Director, Ghana
Mr. Hector Sucilla Perez has 20 years of professional experience in public health, public policy, health and public management, HIV response, health governance, academy and research.

He joined UNAIDS in June 2014. Prior to his appointment to Ghana, he served as UNAIDS Country Director in Guatemala,
Multi-Country Office Director a.i. for Honduras and Nicaragua, and as Strategic Information Adviser for the mentioned Central American countries.

Mr. Sucilla Perez served the Federal Government of Mexico for more than six years in the National Center for the Prevention and Control of the HIV/AIDS, performing most of his time as Director of Operations, Research. He has represented his country of origin and the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in different high-level governance instances such as on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, the Global Fund Board, the United Nations
General Assembly Special Sessions on HIV/AIDS and the Technical Cooperation Group of HIV/AIDS Programmes of Latin America and the Caribbean. He also collaborated in the General Directorate for the Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections and AIDS (DIGECITSS) in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Sucilla Perez graduated as Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemist from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and has a Master degree in Health Management and Direction of the National Institute of Public Health-Mexico (INSP).
Director/Representative UNOPS Ghana Multi-Country Office (Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone)

Ifeoma Esther Charles-Monwuba

Director/Representative UNOPS Ghana Multi-Country Office (Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone)
Ms. Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba is a development specialist with more than 29 years’ experience in public health, development communication, social marketing and advertising. She has multi-disciplinary training in mass communication, international law and diplomacy as well as international health and population studies. Prior to joining the UN in 2018, Ifeoma spent nearly 10 years with ActionAid and held a variety of roles in Nigeria, Haiti, and Senegal where she was ActionAid Country Director. Before that she served as Head of Governance, Policy and Partnerships for WaterAid Nigeria (2005 -2009). Prior to WaterAid, Ifeoma worked for Nigeria’s foremost public health NGO, the Society for Family Health (SFH) and for a leading Nigerian advertising agency in the private sector.
UNESCO Country Director

Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo

Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo has been with UNESCO since 1994 as a consultant in the field of international business. He comes to the UNESCO Accra Office with vast experience in leadership positions, having previously, served as the Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo. Mr. Diallo holds a degree in engineering (1991) from the Ecole des hautes etudes industrielles in Lille, France, and a Master of Business Administration in international business engineering (1994) from the Institut superieur de gestion in Paris, France.

Ms. Vanessa Phala

Director, ILO CO Abuja
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. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration.
Yurdi Yasmi

Yurdi Yasmi

Deputy Regional Representative for Africa/Country Representative Ghana
Mr. Yurdi Yasmi is the FAO’s Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, a position he has held since 2021. He was appointed as the FAO Representative to Ghana on 21 April 2023. He is performing this function concurrently with his responsibility as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa.

A national of Indonesia, Mr. Yasmi previously worked for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he served as the Regional Representative for Southeast Asia. While at IRRI, he was responsible for developing IRRI’s new strategy for the region, supervising country offices and overseeing the portfolios in Southeast Asia.

Mr Yasmi has 25 years of international experience in development and global research institutions. He started his career in 1998 as Research Coordinator at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia. He coordinated CIFOR’s global research program on sustainable forest management in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 2003, he joined Wageningen University in the Netherlands as a Researcher where he conducted global analysis on forest and nature conflict.

From 2007 to 2010, he served as Senior Program Officer at the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) in Bangkok, Thailand, and, in 2010, became the Head and Manager, Capacity Building and Research in the same institution. In 2013, he took the position of the Coordinator of Humidtropics Programme in the Mekong region at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Hanoi, Vietnam, and, later that year, he joined FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) in Bangkok, Thailand as Forest Policy Lead and later as Coordinator for Sustainable Agriculture, a position he held for six and half years.

Mr. Yasmi has led multi-million-dollar development projects in over twenty countries including in complex political settings e.g. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal, South Pacific, Timor-Leste, etc.

Mr Yasmi holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Forest and Nature Conservation Policy, and a Master of Science in Tropical Forestry from Wageningen University, Netherlands, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Bogor Agricultural University (Institute Pertanian Bogor) in Indonesia. He has published over seventy research articles, books and book chapters. See here: https://scholar.google.co.th/citations?user=3wziaiQAAAAJ&hl=en