Wamkele Keabetswe Mene

Position: Secretary-general of AfCFTA
Categories: Personal Profile

Currently holding the position of Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene is a well-known person in the fields of international trade and diplomacy. He made history in February 2020 when he was chosen to serve as the AfCFTA Secretariat’s first Secretary General, overseeing the trade agreement’s ambitious implementation that aspires to establish an all-African single market for goods and services.

Born and raised in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape Province, Wamkele’s educational journey equipped him with a strong foundation for his career. He attended Marymount High School before transferring to Trinity High School. He went on to earn a B.A. Law from Rhodes University, followed by an M.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental & African Studies. He further expanded his expertise with an LL.M in Banking Law and Financial Regulation from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Throughout his career, Wamkele has held significant positions in various international trade organizations and government departments. He previously served as the Head of Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for South Africa and chaired the Committee on International Trade in Financial Services at the WTO. His extensive experience also includes being the Chief Director for Africa Economic Relations in South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, where he played a pivotal role as South Africa’s lead negotiator in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

In his personal life, Wamkele is married to Malika Hinkson Mene. His dedication to advancing African trade and fostering economic integration has positioned him as a key influencer in shaping the continent’s economic landscape and promoting sustainable development through trade liberation.