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Secretary General Ambassador Dr Nomvuyo N. Nokwe





The Secretary General is appointed by the Council of Ministers (COM) for a term of three years renewable for one additional term, from among the candidates nominated by the Member States on the basis of qualification, experience and suitability as laid down in the staff regulations of the IORA Secretariat.

He/She is responsible to the Council of Ministers for all activities of the Association. The Secretary-General participates in all meetings of the Council and performs such other functions as are entrusted to him by these organs. He/She provides an annual report to the Council of Ministers on the work of the Association.

  • Biography

    H.E. Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe is a dynamic and client-focused diplomat with broad experience and substantial success in driving economic diplomacy and engaging with governments and communities. She has previously served as South African High Commissioner to Mauritius and Seychelles from 2011-2016 and Consul General in Milan, Italy from 2006-2011. Earlier, Dr Nokwe was a medical doctor (MBCHB) and completed her studies at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. She worked in several locations in Germany, Ghana and Zambia, including as a Military Senior Medical Officer (Anaesthetist) in Accra (1990-1999), and in the South African Liberation Community (1985-6 and 1977-80). She is fluent English, German, Xhosa and intermediate French. She assumed the role of IORA Secretary General on January 31, 2018.

  • Duties and Responsibilities of the Secretary General

    According to the IORA Charter, the Secretary General is appointed by the Council of Ministers (COM) for a term of three years, renewable for one additional term, from candidates nominated by the Member States on the basis of qualification, experience and suitability. He/She is responsible to the Council of Ministers for all activities of the Association, participates in its meetings and provides an annual report to the Council of Ministers on the work of the Association. The current Secretary General, H.E. Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe (South Africa) assumed duties on January 31, 2018.

    The Secretary-General serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Secretariat and performs its functions in accordance with terms and conditions provided in the IORA Charter and the Rules of Procedure.

    The Secretary-General represents the IORA Secretariat at the Council of Ministers (COM), the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) and the Working Groups, reporting the proceedings and decisions of the meetings and following up on the implementation of the decisions.

    The Secretary-General facilitates any other meetings as specifically instructed by the COM and/or the CSO and reports on proceedings and decisions.

    The Secretary-General ensures the efficient operation of the Secretariat, preparing and submitting progress reports, and regularly reporting on the status of the Association's work programme and calendar of events to Member States.  He/she compiles and distributes any other annual or periodical publications or documents as instructed by the COM and/or the CSO.

    The Secretary-General bears full responsibility for the management of the fiscal resources of the Secretariat, as well as the management of the Association's budget, finances and financial records, including expenditure made by the Secretariat and any funds held by the IORA. He/she must present a sufficiently detailed annual budget and audited financial statements to the COM and CSO for approval.

    The Secretary-General recommends to the CSO, in line with agreed IORA guidelines and procedures, for a change in the status of a project that may not be proceeding as approved by the CSO.  This should follow a process of monitoring and consultation with the project coordinators, in line with guidelines agreed by IORA.

    The Secretary-General, in conformity with the objectives of IORA and for the effective fulfilment of the Secretariat functions, assigns the appropriate division of work among the staff members based on their job descriptions.

    The Secretary-General supervises the preparation and distribution of documents, publications and correspondence of the Secretariat, guides the work of the Directors in carrying out their specified duties and supervises any supporting staff according to the terms and conditions of the organization.

    The Secretary-General is responsible and accountable to the Chair of IORA and Member States for the smooth and effective functioning of the Secretariat, the maintenance of IORA properties held at the Secretariat and the maintenance of any premises and properties provided to the Secretariat under the agreed terms and conditions.

    The Secretary-General reports on an annual basis to the Chair of the CSO on the performance of all staff at the Secretariat, including that of the Secretary-General.  These evaluations should be the result of supervisor and peer assessments made by all staff and the Secretary-General, based on key performance indicators.