Special Envoy's Biography


Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey

UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa

UNHCR appointed Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey as the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa on 09 October 2018. This appointment reflects recent developments, including the agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, as well as other States in the region, which have the potential for progress towards finding solutions for the over 1.5 million refugees in the Horn of Africa.

For the last two years, Ambassador Affey acted as the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somalia situation, where he worked closely with the regional body IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) to develop and implement the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action. 

As Special Envoy, Ambassador Affey’s role will include advocating for continued international protection and increased inclusion of refugees in the countries they reside in, as well as for more global investment in the region. He will engage directly with refugees, regional governments and political institutions, as well as the greater international community.

The Special Envoy brings with him extensive regional experience, having served as the Special Envoy to Somalia for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Previously he held senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, serving as Kenya's Deputy Minister and later as Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia. From March 2008 to February 2013, as a Member of Parliament in the Kenya National Assembly, Ambassador Affey moved several assembly resolutions supporting the stabilization of Somalia by the African Union at the African, Caribbean, Pacific/European Union (ACP/EU) joint parliamentary assembly. In 2007 Ambassador Affey was awarded the Moran of Burning Spear (MBS) by the president of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki.

Born in 1968 in Kenya, Ambassador Affey graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2010 with a master's degree in International Relations and a major in International Conflict Management.


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