H. E. Wamkele Mene
H.E. Wamkele Mene was elected by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States & Government of the African Union to the position of Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.
Prior to being elected Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, H.E. Mene served as Chief Director: Africa Economic Relations at the Department of Trade & Industry of South Africa. He also acted as Chief Trade Negotiator for South Africa in the AfCFTA and Tripartite FTA negotiations. During his tenure as Chief Negotiator, South Africa ratified the AfCFTA and Tripartite FTA agreements.
Before assuming this position, H.E. Mene occupied the position of Director: International Trade Law & Investment Law at the Department of Trade & Industry, a role in which he was principal legal counsel on international trade law and international investment law.
From 2010 until 2015, H.E. the Secretary-General represented South Africa at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland. He was elected to the position of Chairman of the WTO’s Committee on International Trade in Financial Services.
He worked for Wall Street-based law firms in their London and Hong Kong offices, before joining the Department of Trade & Industry of South Africa.
H.E. Mene has also written and lectured internationally in the areas of international trade law, international investment law and international business law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Law) degree from Rhodes University in South Africa and a Master of Arts in International Studies & Diplomacy (with specialisation in International Economics) from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London and an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Banking Law & Financial Regulation from the Law Department of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).
In 2020, H.E. Mene received an award as one of the top 100 most influential people of African descent in support of the United Nations International Decade of African Descent (2015-2024).