Our Team in Eritrea

James Wakiaga

James Wakiaga

UNDP
Representative
James Wakiaga is the UNDP Resident Representative in Eritrea since April 2019. He previously served as Senior Economist with UNDP in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Prior to this, he worked as Chief Economist/Director in Kenya’s Foreign Service and served as Economic Counsellor at the Kenya Embassy in Washington DC. He has contributed to several knowledge products on Poverty, MDGs, SDGs, Human Development and Economic Growth with a focus on Africa.
Martins Ovberedjo

Martins Ovberedjo

WHO
Representative
 
Dr Martins Ovberedjo (Nigeria) is the Country Representative of the World Health Organization in the State of Eritrea since August 2019. Previously, he served as the Country Representative of the World Health Organization in Botswana. He has over 30 years of experience in health systems and service delivery at both the national and international levels.
Dr Ovberedjo is a medical doctor by training. He holds a Master's in Public Health and Business Administration.
Mr. Vedaste Kalima

Vedaste Kalima

OCHA
Head of Office
 
Mr Vedaste Kalima is the head of OCHA in Eritrea since January 2018. Before joining Eritrea, he Kalima served as Head of OCHA Office a.i. in Haiti and Deputy Head of OCHA Offices in Niger, Zimbabwe and Cote d’ Ivoire. He has also served as Field/Program Officer and Head of Sub-Offices with WFP in Rwanda, Madagascar and Chad as well as with Caritas Internationalis in DRC and International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) in Gabon.
Mr Kalima holds a PhD in political sciences and a Bachelor degree in Economic Sciences (International Economy).

amakobe sande

Amakobe Sande

RCO
Resident Coordinator
 
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres's appointed Ms Amakobe Sande as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, with the host Government’s approval; she started her mission in Eritrea on the 24th of Jun 2021. Ms. Sande brings more than 25 years of experience in international cooperation, development coordination, strategic management, peacebuilding, and humanitarian affairs to the position, which she acquired at the United Nations and externally. Within the Organization, she held leadership positions with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), including, most recently, as Country Director and Representative to China. She also served as Senior Gender Equality Adviser and Team Leader for Country Support in the UNAIDS Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Lesotho and Country Director in Malawi and Uganda.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Sande held senior positions with international non-governmental organizations, including Oxfam, where she served as Regional Manager for Southern Africa, Regional Manager for Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia), Deputy Country Representative in Rwanda, and Country Director in Zambia. She also was the Director for the Southern Africa Partnership programme of ActionAid International.

Ms. Sande holds a bachelor’s degree with honours in international relations and a master’s degree in development studies.
 Saeed Baencie

Saeed Baencie

FAO
Representative
 
Mr Bancie (Ghana) has more than 20 years of professional experience, mostly with NGOs. He joined FAO in 2014 as Investment Officer, FAO Somalia, based in Nairobi, Kenya and served as Agribusiness Officer from 2015 through 2018.
Mr Bancie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development Planning from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, a Master’s Degree in Development Administration and Planning from UCL, University of London, UK, and a Master’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester, USA.
Mrs. Shaheen Nilofer

Shaheen Nilofer

UNICEF
Representative
 
Ms Shaheen Nilofer has 27 years of experience. She notably served as Chief Field Office, in UNICEF State Office in Chhattisgarh (Central India) for over four years. Shaheen also served as UNICEF Representative to the Royal Government of Bhutan from 2012 to June 2016 and Government of Turkmenistan from 2016-May 2019. Prior to joining UNICEF India, Shaheen served in Oxfam GB, India and later in South Asia from 1993-2008 in various capacities. Ms Nilofer holds a Doctorate in Gender Studies and has a Master’s degree in Sociology.
Soufiane Adjali

Soufiane Adjali

UNHCR
Representative
 
Mr Soufiane Adjali began his international career in 1994 as a Human Rights Officer (War Crimes Investigator) in Rwanda, where he was part of the first field Operation of the OHCHR. He also worked for the ICRC and the UN Peace Keeace Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the UNHCR, he served in several countries, including in Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East.
Mr Adjali is a jurist by training.
Therese Poirier

Therese Poirier

UNAIDS
Representative
 
Therese U. Poirier is currently the UNAIDS Country Director for Eritrea. Before she has been respectively the UNAIDS Country Director for Mali and Malawi.
Ms Poirier has over 25 years of blended experience in results-oriented, human rights-based and people-centred programs. Throughout her career, she has worked in various capacity in health program development with focus on HIV/AIDS, SRHR, MNCH, Health systems strengthening, Community development, Gender equality. She has an extensive experience in Regional program management, capacity building, strategic planning, policy formulation which she acquired in various geographical areas including Canada, Latin-America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan African countries.

She holds a master’s degree in Administration (International Management) from the University of Québec (Canada). She also holds a master's degree in Economics from the University of Burundi. Born in Rwanda, Ms. Poirier is a Canadian citizen. She speaks English, French, Swahili, Lingala, Kinyarwanda and has some knowledge of Spanish