Dr Leonardo Santos Simão appointed as UNOWAS Special Representative

04 July 2023

EDCTP’s High Representative for Africa, Dr Leonardo Santos Simão, has been appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel, Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission. Consequently, he is stepping down from his role at EDCTP as goodwill ambassador – High Representative for Africa.

Dr Simão is a medical doctor by training and a former Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for Mozambique. From 2016, and together with Professor Marcel Tanner (EDCTP High Representative for Europe), he has acted as goodwill ambassador for EDCTP, to increase the visibility of the programme and promote partnerships with other EDCTP stakeholders. By liaising with stakeholders in and outside of Africa, he helped the EDCTP programme strengthen its long-term commitment and perspective in global health.

Dr Simão is a strong advocate for science diplomacy and cross-border, international cooperation, driven by the goal of healthcare advancement and socio-economic development in Africa. In his work as a High Representative for EDCTP, he has been liaising with other organisations and regional bodies on the role of African governments increasing their participation in financing research through strengthening national ministries of science and technology and the creation of science funds.

We wish to congratulate Dr Simão on this new and very important appointment at the United Nations, and thank him for the great passion and selfless efforts towards the advancement of the mission of EDCTP in Africa and beyond. We look forward to further reinforce our common global objectives as we continue to work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.