New UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mr Gilles Fagninou, takes up position in Senegal

22 February 2024
A headshot of UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Gilles Fagninou, crossing his arms with a UNICEF logo in the backdrop.
UNICEF 2024/Creative Studio

DAKAR, 22 February 2024 – UNICEF’s new Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mr Gilles Fagninou, arrived in Dakar, Senegal, this week, promising to continue supporting governments to accelerate results to advance child rights across the region’s 24 countries.

Mr. Fagninou, a national of Benin, was previously the Secretary of the UNICEF Executive Board and Director of the Office of the Secretary of the Executive Board from September 2020.

“It is a huge privilege to be back in this region that I know well, and where there has been strong progress on child rights over the past decade,’’ said Mr. Fagninou. “This is a young and dynamic region with around 1 in 8 children worldwide. If we can continue accelerating results at scale, while also responding to ongoing emergencies and humanitarian crises, we can really shift indicators globally for children.”

The UNICEF Regional Director has oversight of at least 3,000 UNICEF staff across more than 80 national offices and sub-offices, tackling issues such as climate change, malnutrition, the learning crisis, and grave violations against children.

Before taking up his post in Dakar, Senegal, Mr. Fagninou held various senior positions in UNICEF, including Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa; Assistant Secretary of the Executive Board; Deputy Representative in Mongolia; and Chief, Social Policy Analysis, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in Afghanistan and in Burundi.

Before joining UNICEF in 2000 as a UNICEF National Officer, he worked in academia as a researcher on macroeconomics in developing countries. Mr. Fagninou holds a master’s degree in statistics and economics.


Media contacts

Jean Jacques Simon
Regional Chief of Communication
UNICEF West and Central Africa
Tel: +221 77 111 43 82


UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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