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World Economic Forum Appoints New Head of Africa

Elsie KanzaGeneva, Switzerland, 8 August 2011 – The World Economic Forum has announced that Elsie Kanza, the Personal Assistant (Economic Affairs) to President Jakaya M. Kikwete of Tanzania, is to become the Forum’s new Head of Africa. Kanza will visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, later this month in preparation for the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa.

“After six fruitful years of advising one of Africa’s exemplary leaders and gaining invaluable experience in the process, I am delighted to be joining the World Economic Forum in this challenging yet rewarding role,” said Kanza. “This is an exciting time for Africa, which now has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. At the same time, Africa’s growing youthful, unemployed population demands innovative approaches to development. I look forward to working together with a remarkable team that is catalysing leadership for inclusive growth and development.”

During her tenure in the Tanzanian public sector, Kanza served with the Office of the President since March 2006. She previously worked in various capacities in the Ministry of Finance, as well as at the Bank of Tanzania from 1997 to 2006.

Kanza was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, based on her outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society. She has also been nominated to the Rising Talents Program of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society, and received the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow Award.

Kanza holds a Bachelor’s degree in international business administration from the United States International University – Africa, as well as Master’s degrees in finance and development economics, from the University of Strathclyde and the Centre for Development Economics at Williams College, respectively.

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The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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