ZIMBABWE – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has elected Lydia Zigomo from Zimbabwe as its new Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, the agency has announced on its website.
International development leader Lydia Zigomo takes over from Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, the outgoing Regional Director ad interim.
On her appointment, Zigomo said that UNFPA’s vision of achieving a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled is close to her heart.
She further said that her focus as the new Regional Director will be to intensify efforts to achieve UNFPA’s three transformative results by 2030.
As we begin to emerge from the challenging years of COVID-19, which severely strained health system service delivery and set back our mandate in the region, we will approach each day with agile solutions, ingenuity and strengthened resolve to ensure that we leave no woman or adolescent girl behind.
She highlighted her ambitious goal of ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unintended pregnancies by meeting the demand for family planning as well as ending gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child marriage by 2030.
“We will approach each day with agile solutions, ingenuity and strengthened resolve to ensure that we leave no woman or adolescent girl behind,” Lydia Zigomo reaffirmed.
Ms Zigomo is expected to lead efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) commitments in East and Southern Africa.
Ms Zigomo is also expected to lead the UNFPA’s Division in the attainment of its vision of achieving a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential.
Humanitarian leader Zigomo brings a wealth of knowledge, connections and vision in public health to the UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office.
Prior to her new role, Lydia Zigomo served as Global Programmes Director for Oxfam International in Kenya as well as Regional Director for the Horn, East and Central Africa region for a period of 4 years.
The newly elected UNFPA Regional Director Zigomo also served as Water Aid’s Regional Director in East Africa for over 10 years besides being a human rights lawyer.
In addition, Zigomo holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Civil Liberties Law from the University of Leicester and a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree from the University of Zimbabwe.
UNFPA Regional Director Lydia Zigomo was also an Eisenhower Fellow in 2001 and a former participant of the British Council Leadership Programme in Zimbabwe.
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