Overview of Economic and Social Development in Africa
A. Overview of Africa's development in the first half of the 1990s
Africa's development in the first half of this decade has been dominated by multiple transi-tions which, in some countries, often have run concurrently: from war to peace, from one-party rule to multi-party governance, from apartheid to non-racial democracy, from command economies dominated by govern-ments and sheltered from imports to free markets, private enterprise and more liberal trade.
In a few countries, the transition was unfortunately in the wrong direction: from rela-tive peace and stability to intensified civil war and even brutal genocide. As many as 20 million Africans were internally displaced within their countries or forced to seek refuge in other countries, fleeing conflict flashpoints. But, on the bright side, the transition to peace has been consolidated in several other countries. The great majority of African countries, however, have remained stable and largely at peace - a less dramatic reality that is usually over-shadowed by the more enthralling headlines generated by conflict situations. That the majority of countries remain at peace is a remarkable achievement in itself, in view of the mounting challenges that they have been facing.
To cope with these challenges, practically every African country that is not convulsed with conflicts has embarked on one transitional reform process or another. A number of coun-tries have replaced one-party rule with multi-party governance. No less than 30 interna-tionally observed elections have been organized in African countries in recent years. The first non-racial democratic election in the history of South Africa, in 1994, ushered in that country's first non-racial government - the Government of National Unity, to guide the country through the transitional period to the year 1999. And almost all countries with an effective govern-ment have embarked upon fundamental macro-economic and sectoral reforms to boost economic performance on a sustainable basis.
Economic reforms to stabilize, restructure and transform African economies to make them more efficient and competitive have had attendant social costs. To cite one example, public sector restructuring has inevitably involved massive redundancies, though the pain has been ameliorated by retrenchment packages of benefits (e.g., severance pay, re-training opportunities, pension payments, subsidized credit lines for those able to go into self-employment, etc.). Another example is the loss of jobs that has been caused by the surge of imports due to more liberal trade policies, in the early years before African enterprises restruc-ture themselves and learn to cope with stiff external competition. The majority of African countries have been placed on a sounder macroeconomic footing than they have been in three decades. Countries are now in a better position to compete in international markets. The political climate is more hospitable and the economic policy environment is more conducive than at any time prior to the launching of reforms. African countries have began to attain the fundamental conditions needed to attract increased domestic and foreign savings and investments to underwrite a sustained economic recovery and accelerated growth. On the whole, it is not an exaggeration to say that Africa is poised to take off economically and resume sustained social development.
B. The economic and social situation in 1994-1995
Africa's economic and social situation over the 1994-1995 biennium was a rather mixed picture. Encouraging news and sources of hope were intermingled with persisting trouble spots and problematic issues which will continue to demand policy makers' close attention for years to come. Fuller details of economic develop-ments over this period may be found in the ECA documents Survey of Economic and Social Conditions in Africa, 1994-1995 and the Economic Report on Africa published respec-tively in 1995 and 1996.
On a provisional basis, ECA estimates that continental African economic output, measured at constant 1990 prices (in US dollars) grew by 2.2 per cent in 1995 and 1.6 per cent in 1994. Economic performance over the biennium showed a slight improvement over the preceding 1992-1993 biennium. Thus, on a continent-wide basis, per capita output shrank by 0.7 per cent in 1995, after declining by 1.3 per cent in 1994. Over the first half of the decade, from 1990 to 1995, it is estimated that African per capita GDP declined at an average annual rate of 2 per cent. On a more positive note, how-ever, a comparison of the five-year average and that of the last biennium indicates that a turn-around in economic growth is under way across the continent, even though economic growth remains vulnerable to climatic and external market conditions that are beyond Africa's
control, and even though it is still well below the rate of population growth.
Yet another promising indicator that African economies may have embarked on recovery is provided by a country-by-country breakdown of economic performance across the continent (table 1.1). The number of economies which recorded shrinking output has declined steadily over the 1990s to just three in 1995. The number of countries with economic growth rates exceeding population growth rates has shown an upward trend since 1992, reaching 26 in 1995. Similarly, the number of countries matching or exceeding the 6 per cent economic growth rate, which is recommended as a target in the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF), has been increasing in the four years up to 1995.
Table I.1. Frequency distribution of African countries
according to percentage growth rate of GDP, 1990-1995
|Growth rate % p.a.||19901||19911||19921||19931||1994||19952|
0.0 - 2.9
3.0 - 5.9
6.0 - 7.9
|Total number of countries||52||52||52||52||53||53|
1 No separate figures available for the State of Eritrea until 1994.
2 Preliminary estimates.
These positive trends are a tribute to the efforts of the great majority of African countries over the last decade to reform their economies and put them on a more sound footing. On the other hand, the continuing rather anaemic growth rate in the countries which together contribute the bulk of African economic output and are home to a majority of the continent's population, in spite of the cumulative reform effort, indicates that there are persisting problems which must be addressed in order to unleash African economies in the remaining few years of this decade. African countries can be grouped roughly into three broad categories: In one category are countries held back by either continuing con-flicts or unresolved social and political tensions which make it impossible to mobilize external or domestic resources to earnestly get rehabilita-tion and reconstruction under way. A second category of countries have not embraced economic and social reforms with sufficient conviction and commitment. Some, indeed, have flip-flopped on key planks of their reform programmes, resulting in a squandering of the social costs earlier incurred in introducing these reforms, without any gains whatsoever from the reversal of policy, except a worsening of the macroeconomic situation. In all such cases, the effect has been to entrench skepticism in the calculations and expectations of domestic and external economic agents - which has blunted their response to policy signals. The third cate-gory is made up of countries which are ardent about reforms, are bold and innovative in formu-lating policies to address economic and social problems and understand the importance of macroeconomic stability as a precondition for sustained growth. Of the three categories, invariably, it is countries in the last group which have exhibited consistent improvement in economic performance.
On the whole, African economies - even those in the category of committed reformers - have continued to be held back by structural weaknesses that have yet to be tackled ade-quately. Underpinning all structural weaknesses has been the inadequacy of capacities in all critical areas of human resources, institutions, physical infrastructures and financial mobiliza-tion.
African financial intermediation remains largely confined to the largest cities, excluding the bulk of Africa's economic agents - small-scale agro-producers, artisans, micro-entrepreneurs and women. Consequently, the domestic savings and investment rates remain well below 20 per cent. This is too low to sustain robust economic growth.
The mixed picture that Africa's economic and social performance presents is rich with lessons for the years ahead. Efforts must be redoubled to get the countries mired in conflict and socio-political stalemate onto the path to reconciliation, peace and stability. There can be no development without peace. The countries that are inconsistent with their reform agendas need to learn from the examples of those which are committed and serious about finding and implementing reform solutions to their problems. All African countries must focus anew on the
building, retention, and effective utilization of critical capacities - human, institutional, infra-structural and financial mobilization. And coun-tries must break down the barriers that separate their economies and impede trade, enterprise and finance. These elements taken together are the pre-conditions for boosting African coun-tries' competitiveness in the global economy of the next century.
The challenges that African countries will continue to face in the medium term can be reduced to four major issues: to accelerate and broaden economic growth; to achieve a sustain-able balance in the population-food-environment nexus; to achieve good governance and put an end to conflicts; and to cope with globalization and attain international competitiveness.
The first challenge is a consequence of wide-scale structural weaknesses which require comprehensive reforms, innovative and prag-matic policies that have sufficient flexibility, generous support from external partners, patience and long-term commitment. The last two elements are important because the weak-nesses that hobble Africa and prevent it from accelerating its economic growth and develop-ment cannot be tackled overnight - not even in the space of a few years. To reduce the inci-dence and severity of poverty in Africa, sustained and broad-based robust growth is needed.
The second challenge is a compound result of the rapid population growth rate; antiquated, inefficient and even destructive production tech-niques and a fragile ecosystem. Work must be done on each of the three fronts of the nexus to restore equilibrium.
The third challenge arises from the paradox that setting the people free and empowering them over government is congruent with build-ing peace and stability based on equity and self-determination.
The fourth challenge is a consequence of the information and transportation revolutions that are making national borders increasingly meaningless in economic terms.
In facing these challenges, African countries will continue to be handicapped by scarce finan-cial resources, climatic uncertainties and factors beyond their control - such as world market developments which determine prices of com-modities, imported goods, services and interest rates. The concessions to LDCs under the Uruguay Round notwithstanding, African coun-tries will have to engineer their accelerated growth under conditions remarkably unlike those under which the mature market economies and the newly industrializing countries (NICs) of Asia and Latin America attained their transformation. While these economies all engineered their growth behind protectionist walls, the impli-cations of the Uruguay Round Agreement are that Africa will have to achieve growth and transformation within conditions of liberal global trade and financial flows. How can this be done? This is a formidable policy challenge, indeed.
At the same time, unless the creditors show much more generosity and find a solution to Africa's heavy external debt that frees countries from burdens of distant miscalculations, it will continue to siphon away badly needed financial resources which countries could have put towards essential capacity building.
Within the context of these challenges and constraints, prospects for economic and social
performance to the year 2000 are, obviously, heavily conditional. Under these constraints, the regional economic growth rate could reach 4-5 per cent per annum by the year 2000. This is assuming that:
(a) Average weather conditions prevail across the continent;
(b) The thrust of economic and social reforms embarked upon in the last decade con-tinues;
(c) The world economic growth rate is maintained at 3-4 per cent observed since 1992 while keeping world-market inflation and interest rates stable;
(d) The domestic investment rate is boosted to 20-25 per cent of GDP, financed by increased domestic savings, foreign direct investment and portfolio flows more than sufficient to compensate for reductions in official development assistance (ODA) transfers; and
(e) Countries organize their development processes within the paradigms of building and utilizing capacities and regional integration. Failure in any of these conditions would almost certainly keep economic growth at rates not much above those observed in recent years.
II. PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENTS, 1994-1995
The thrust of the programme of ECA in the 1994-1995 biennium continued to be around measures required to put the African economy back on the path of sustained recovery acce-lerated development, dynamic and world compe-titive. It continued to articulate plans and strategies, advocate economic and social policies and undertook a number of operational activities; mainly through convening of ad hoc expert group meetings, provision of advisory services and various forms of training.
The Commission embarked on a major initia-tive on building and utilizing critical capacities in Africa during the biennium. The twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions of the Commission respec-tively reviewed the preliminary and progress reports on the Framework Agenda for building and utilizing critical capacities in Africa. The Framework Agenda is intended to serve as a reference of strategies for building and utilizing critical capacities in Africa. It defines critical capacities as encompassing the human, institu-
tional and infrastructural dimensions. It pro-poses policy measures and actions that African Governments and their development partners should adopt to reinforce capacity building in the following 10 priority areas: capacity for good governance; policy analytic and develop-ment management capacity; human capacities development; entrepreneurial capacity in the private sector; building and maintaining physical infrastructure; strengthening capacities for food security and self-sufficiency; capacities to exploit natural resources and diversify into processing and manufacturing; capacities to manage the African environment and ecological resources for sustainable development; capa-cities to harness science and technology for accelerated growth and sustainable develop-ment; and capacities for financial resources mobilization.
The following are the highlights of activities undertaken in the various subprogrammes around which the work of the Commission was organized in the period under review:
DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND POLICIES
This subprogramme continued to focus on such pertinent questions as: What must Africa do to arrest and reverse its undesirable socio-economic situation? What are the priorities for action to put Africa on the path of sustained recovery, accelerated growth and sustainable development as it enters the twenty-first century? What are the required resources and where will they come from? and What are the lessons of experience from other regions and the world?
Answers to these questions cut across the work of all the subprogrammes, but in particular guided the Commission's analytical and research work, especially in the area of macroeconomic issues and management, debt and financial management issues, as well as planning for development and the use of economic modelling. Specific issues relating to the development of LDCs were also addressed in this subprogramme.
A. Research for macroeconomic policy analysis and development
Research in the area of macroeconomic policy and management aimed at improving national mechanisms for the review and appraisal of socio-economic conditions and appraisal of development policies and pro-grammes including strengthening planning machineries, methodology and techniques through developing appropriate analytical tools of data analysis and projections.
Major activities in this area included the publication of the Survey of Economic and Social Conditions in Africa, 1994-1995, in which an analysis of recent trends and develop-ments in the various sectors of the Africa economies, the main problems and policies behind these trends and their implications for growth and development were made. Studies were also undertaken on various topics. These studies revealed that the economic performance of Africa on the whole remained disturbing, notwithstanding the few encouraging signs of modest recovery for a significant number of African countries.
B. Confronting the interrelated issues of debt and development financing
For Africa, the interrelated issues of debt and development finance constituted major obstacles to its development efforts. As such, the Commission devoted considerable effort to reviewing the debt and development finance situation of the region. Activities included the organization of a high-level discussion forum on the "Problematic of financing development in Africa". The forum examined the daunting challenges facing Africa in mobilizing adequate resources needed to support development and improve the living standards of the majority of the African population. A major report entitled "Review of techniques for debt reduction and conversion and their application to Africa" was also published by the secretariat.
The main activities undertaken in the area of development financing during this period included preparation of a number of documents among which were "Promotion of capital markets in Africa in the context of enhancing domestic and external resource mobilization for development" and "Impact of external shocks on African monetary zones and strategies for mitigating them".
C. Development planning
(a) Planning for food self-sufficiency
Special emphasis was placed on the food subsector. The worsening of the food situation and declining agricultural income must be curbed through appropriate and rigorous planning. In this regard, a study was prepared on "Strategic planning in the food subsector". The study underlined the need for member States to adopt appropriate policies for main-taining adequate levels of food security through enhancement of food production, distribution, marketing and storage in the context of increased regional cooperation in food. The study proposed an agricultural planning process consisting of five stages:
(a) Analysis of real social and technical systems;
(b) Determination of technically possible systems;
(c) Determination of popularizable and practical systems;
(d) Determination through participatory and practicable systems;
(b) Economic modelling
Economic modelling and the use of economic models as input into policy analysis in Africa are generally not fully utilized. However, a study undertaken by ECA revealed that the formulation and implementation of models are gaining momentum as an important stage in the progress towards improved economic manage-ment. As a follow-up to this study, ECA engaged in a number of activities involving the building of indicative planning models aimed at helping countries in formulating economic strategies and policies within coherent and consistent national development plans by indi-cating the policy implications under various alternative development scenarios.
Seychelles, among other countries, received ECA's assistance in the development of short-term macroeconomic models. The Seychelles exercise was mainly designed to serve as an early-warning system that would enable the introduction of short-term adjustment measures to cope with the implications of sudden changes in the domestic and external spheres.
D. Policies in favour of African least developed countries (LDCs)
The number of LDCs in Africa stands at 33 and represents a major challenge for the region. The Commission undertook a number of acti-vities in the context of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the LDCs. In this regard, a review on the performance of LDCs was carried out as part of the Mid-term Global Review of the Implementation of the Programme of Action. The review indicated that, in general, the socio-economic performance of Africa's LDCs continued to be sluggish, due to domestic and external factors. The domestic factors were mainly attributed to adverse climatic conditions, civil wars, a poor production and consumption base in a number of LDCs, as well as growing debt burden. These findings were presented in a document on the review of pro-gress achieved by the African LDCs in the imple-mentation of the Paris Declaration and Pro-gramme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s. The document generated a Special Memorandum on the Mid-term Global Review which was adopted by the twenty-first meeting of the ECA Conference of Ministers responsible for Economic and Social Development and Planning in May 1995.
A study was also undertaken to rationalize the flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) to
the least privileged countries of Africa. This study explored the possibilities of increasing resource flows through appropriate measures relating to incentive structures, including attractive tax incentives, appropriate economic reforms aiming at enhancing the role of the private sector, developing infrastructure and financial institutions and a stable macro-economic and political environment.
Another study focused on the evaluation of performance of specialized credit institutions in African LDCs. This study was carried out, with a view to strengthening the contribution of farm credit institutions to agricultural productivity. The study suggested a number of policy recom-mendations to improve the institutional credit systems in favour of the small holder.
TRADE, REGIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND INTEGRATION With the coming into force of the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Com-munity, considerable emphasis is being given to the strengthening of subregional and regional communities as vehicles for enhancing coopera-tion. Furthermore, there is the need to define the substantive areas for promoting cooperation and to prepare most African countries to under-stand and fully engage themselves in coopera-tive activities. Member States' active involve-ment in regional cooperation require building internal competitiveness in areas such as trade and investment.
It was against this background that the thrust of the Commission's work during the biennium 1994-1995 centred on the imple-mentation of the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community. Activities in the area of trade, regional economic cooperation and integration focused on:
(a) Strengthening regional economic communities both at the institutional and sectoral levels with emphasis on the rationaliza-tion, harmonization and coordination of their activities;
(b) Revitalizing African domestic and external trade;
(c) Strengthening intra-African trade;
(d) Strengthening institutional capacity to accelerate the process of monetary and financial integration; and
(e) Tourism and Africa's development.
(a) Strengthening regional economic com-munities
Regional economic communities are the building blocs for the process of regional inte-gration. This calls for the strengthening of the capacities of the existing subregional economic communities, such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU).
In response to these needs, ECA prepared a document entitled "Policy convergence for regional economic cooperation and integration:
Implementation of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community" for the consi-deration of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Economic and Social Develop-ment and Planning. The suggestions for con-vergence were based on a four-pronged inte-grated approach encompassing infrastructures, production, trade liberalization and policy orientation. It also stressed the need for sectoral harmonization and convergence in various fields, such as trade liberalization; free movement of goods and persons; money, finance and payments; food and agriculture; industry, science and technology, energy, natural resources and environment; environ-mental-control of toxic wastes; transport and communications; tourism; and human resources, social affairs, health and population.
ECA provided technical assistance to regional economic communities and IGOs on ways and means of furthering economic co-operation and integration and ensuring food security. In this regard, a technical cooperation programme on inter-island and coastal shipping, industry, environment and marine affairs was drawn up for the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). ECA also prepared a framework for technical cooperation to guide the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Desertification (IGADD) in the programming of its activities for regional cooperation/integration. Other activities geared towards the revitaliza-tion/restructuring of IGADD took place. Assistance was given to ECCAS in working out modalities for relaunching the regional economic process in Central Africa. African ACP coun-tries were assisted in negotiations for the successor Lomé Convention.
Technical assistance was also provided to African countries to enhance monetary and financial integration in Africa. This included the Commission's contribution to efforts made towards currency convertibility in Preferential Trade Area (PTA)/Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries, its participation in meetings of the Association of African Development Institutions and of the Association of African Central Banks (AACB), its cooperation in a review study of the imple-mentation of COMESA and the contribution made to the meetings of the Working Group preparatory to the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank group.
ECA contributed to the COMESA monetary harmonization programme. Close collaboration with PTA and SADC took place on seeking ways and means of achieving food security in Eastern and Southern Africa. Support to river basin development schemes focused on the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and was assisted in its efforts to map out an action plan to revitalize its activities and strengthen the organization.
Assistance was also provided to sector specific subregional groups in the promotion of cooperation in specific areas of needs. Most notable among these initiatives was the study on the interconnection of Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) and the Kagera Basin Organization (KBO) electricity grids. The objective of the study was to demonstrate the rationale for cooperation which, among other benefits, were the realiza-tion of economies of scale and optimum utiliza-tion of electricity resources in the area. In this regard, four projects dealing with electricity interconnection were identified for implementa-tion during 1995-2001. Furthermore, consider-ing that countries of the CEPGL are land-locked some assistance was provided in the area of transport. Five studies dealing with lake/water and air transport in CEPGL and KBO countries were carried out.
African Governments have long recognized the need for a regional African institution which would specialize in regional monetary and finan-cial issues. Its primary responsibility would be to help African countries to formulate a general framework or guidelines for promoting monetary and financial integration. It was against this background that a report outlining progress towards the establishment of an African mone-tary fund was presented to the fifth session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, held in February 1994. The report detailed the progress achieved so far, among which was the political approval given by member States. It also underscored the need for a detail study on the technical aspects of the setting up of the Fund. Another activity in the field of monetary cooperation related to the harmonization of monetary and financial policies at the subre-gional level. A study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of subregional financial institutions in the mobilization of resources for development.
(b) Revitalizing African domestic and external trade
Many of the lingering negative trends in Africa's socio-economic development are partly attributed to its weak productive base and decline in the share of Africa's export earnings. The need to revitalize measures to respond to these weaknesses is thus widely felt. This is particularly important in light of the adoption of the Final Act of the Uruguay Round of Multi-lateral Trade Negotiations, an important development at the global level, which from current analysis has the potential to affect the prospects for Africa's recovery and growth. These new realities of intense global competi-tiveness require efficient, ample and flexible capacity that can anticipate and adjust to global market changes. In this regard, a study was undertaken by ECA to analyze the anticipated impact of the Uruguay Round Agreements on selected high priority sectors, with a view to making proposals on policy measures for helping African countries benefit from the Uruguay agreements. This study recommended measures to minimize the adverse effects and maximize the positive effects of the imple-mentation of the agreements, in the short-, medium- and long-term horizon.
The conclusions and recommendations from the impact analysis was the rallying point for discussion by the International Conference on the Uruguay Round convened in Tunis in 1994. The conference, on the basis of the analysis, adopted the "Framework for action for technical assistance to African countries within the framework of the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements". The Framework among the many proposals to respond to the post-Uruguay Round challenges, those requiring immediate attention include providing the tech-nical assistance on a range of issues. Notably priority technical assistance that will be required to assist individual African countries as they set out to:
(a) Assess the domestic requirements (legal, administrative) for compliance;
(b) Assess the economic impact of the various agreements and policy implications; and
(c) The new market access conditions fac-ing their country's trade, including barriers to trade; Agreement on the Implementation of Article VII (Customs Valuation); Agreement on Preshipment Inspection; Agreement on Trade-related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); Understanding on the rules of proce-dures governing the settlement of disputes; and the trade policy review mechanism.
Another study was commissioned to assess Africa's position in world commodity market and the Lomé IV Convention. The study entitled "Cooperation in the development of industrial and agricultural minerals", identified structural weaknesses inherent to the industry and iden-tified appropriate areas for cooperation. This study was presented at a SADC workshop which adopted most of its recommendations which are expected to be used in the formu-lation of the SADC protocol for the mining sector.
(c) Strengthening intra-African trade
Intra-African trade development and promo-tion represents one of the pillars for economic integration and cooperation. Fundamental requirements for effective intra-African trade include the availability of trade information, including supply and demand, elimination of obstacles to trade, promotion of those factors such as a conducive environment that facilitate trade and the mobilization of trade operators.
The activities undertaken by the Commis-sion to strengthen intra-African trade included, among others, the following:
(a) In the Eastern and Southern Africa MULPOC subregion, a study on "Gemstones development and marketing strategies" was used as the main document for a workshop on the same topic. One important outcome of the workshop was the establishment of an African Gemstone Development Association, which held its inaugural meeting in Nairobi, in October 1995. The Association aims at fostering collec-tive interest for gemstone dealers as well as the coordination and harmonization of activities
related to gemstones through the establishment of a gemstone exchange bureau in the subregion and the holding of subregional gemstone fairs;
(b) In the West African subregion, the effects of the devaluation of the CFA franc on the integration process, in particular on trade relations and promotion, were analyzed;
(c) Given the importance of agriculture for countries of the Great Lakes subregion com-posed mainly of countries of KBO, a study was undertaken on the harmonization of agricultural policies in KBO countries mainly in forestry, rural development and marketing of agricultural pro-ducts. A study on edible oil was also under-taken. According to the study, the production of edible oils could be increased if the diffi-culties related to the production, harvest, storage and technologies were removed. As a first step, farmers must be encouraged to develop new palm oil tree plantations as well as develop groundnut and soya plantations;
(d) Another area that lends itself to intra-African trade is the minerals sector. The poten-tialities of trade in minerals in the Kagera basin were also assessed. The study suggested the establishment of a data bank on exploration activities in the basin;
(e) Some activities addressed the issues of South-South cooperation both among subregions and with other countries of the south. In this context, a study on trade liberalization of domestically produced goods in the ECOWAS and COMESA subregions was undertaken with the objective of seeking ways and means of enhancing the expansion of intra-subregional trade in locally produced goods. Another study dealt with trade issues, in particular the prospects and problems of expanding South-South trade cooperation.
(d) Strengthening institutional capacity for monitoring and financial integration
The Commission provided assistance in a variety of ways to accelerate the process of monetary and financial integration in Africa. Many of the activities were implemented in
association with subregional organizations and financial institutions. The publications prepared by the Commission in this area included "Harmonization of monetary and financial policies at the subregional level" and "External trade financing techniques". In the area of international cooperation, ECA was requested by the COMESA secretariat to coordinate, fund and assist in the preparation of a "Review study of the implementation of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa monetary harmonization programme" and presented the findings of the study to the first meeting of the COMESA Monetary and Financial Cooperation Committee and the first meeting of the COMESA Central Bank Governors, both held in Windhoek, Namibia, in November 1995.
(e) Tourism and Africa's development
The importance of tourism as a source of revenue for financing socio-economic development programmes is widely recognized. However, its full potential in Africa is yet to be realized, despite the positive growth experienced over the years. The need to explore the contribution of tourism to Africa's development, therefore, constituted the main thrust of ECA's intervention and support during the biennium 1994-1995. Thus, greater emphasis was placed on mobilization of tourism resources for overall development.
In this regard, ECA's major activity was a report which summarized various studies carried out to analyze the development of tourism in Africa with a view to making suggestions for a more effective contribution to the African integration process and the overall development of the region. The report made recom-mendations for the development of tourism at the subregional and regional levels which included measures for improvement in the airline industry, better hotel accommodation and faci-lities, increase participation of local entre-preneurs in the tourist sector, organization of Africa's cultural heritage and development of human resources. The study also recommended the need for the establishment of mechanism for promoting tourism cooperation and integration.
POVERTY ALLEVIATION THROUGH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Africa's continuing modest rate of economic performance, coupled with its rapid population growth and growing debt burden, have com-pounded the difficulties for governments to improve standards of living of their people. There is an equally disturbing decline in capacity of an increasing number of Africa's population to access to food and other basic needs, includ-ing potable water and shelter.
Poverty alleviation approaches, in particular those traditional interventions such as agrarian reforms, providing subsidized goods and ser-vices and making available productive resources have already been amply documented. Far less emphasis had been given to crucial cross-sectoral linkages and synergies among food and agriculture, population, environment and human settlements. The first meeting of the Con-ference of African Ministers responsible for Sustainable Development and the Environment was convened in March 1996 under the theme "Facing the challenges of sustainable develop-ment and environment in Africa". The Con-ference considered strategies and programmes based on the inter-relationships between agri-culture especially food supply, rural develop-ment and water resources, population, the environment and human settlements within the framework of poverty alleviation. An important outcome of the Conference was the Addis Ababa Statement on the Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa.
(a) Increasing food self-sufficiency and security in Africa
ECA activities in the areas of food and agri-culture focused on enhancing the capacity of African countries in food security policy analysis, planning and sensitizing decision makers on the need to improve the food security situation, notably through the diversification and strengthening of production, improvement in the income and diet base. To this end, measures and actions to ensure sustainable production, rational exploitation and use of conventional and non-conventional food, fishery, forestry and livestock resources and to improve delivery systems were recommended.
Several reports highlighting various aspects of food security and its effect on poverty alle-viation were prepared and presented to the first meeting of the Conference of African Ministers responsible for Sustainable Development and Environment. Among these were:
(a) A report to assess the progress made in the alleviation of poverty; and
(b) A report to promote the use and rational exploitation of non-conventional food resources as complementary sources of food for achieving food security at the level of the vulnerable households, notably in rural areas. In addition, a number of policy papers based on research on selected issues affecting food security were prepared. These papers examined issues such as alternative strategy for increased self-reliance and improved competitiveness in world market to enable Africa achieve sustain-able food security.
ECA continued to sensitize decision makers by actively participating in meetings where the opportunity to provide technical advice on issues pertaining to food security was available. It participated, for example, in:
(a) The third Presidential Forum on the Management of Science and Technology for Development in Africa held in Kampala, Uganda, at which it presented a lead paper on resolving food security in Africa which provided a strate-gic framework for basic food and nutritional security;
(b) In the Advisory Committee meeting on Mobilization of Domestic Resources, Agricultural Reform and Self-evaluation of Good Governance held in Harare, Zimbabwe, at which it presented a paper on the implications of agricultural reforms for the alleviation of rural poverty in Africa.
Meetings of the subregional IGOs were convened to review the issues of developing complementarities between bordering States to enhance their individual and collective capacity in improving the food security situations, as well as the need for maintaining the natural resources base. As inputs to these subregional reviews, ECA undertook for the Central, West, East and Southern Africa subregions in-depth studies on border food trade. These studies identified bottlenecks as well as remedial measures for ensuring the effective contribution of marketing and intra-subregional trade to improving the food security situation and, thereby, to alleviating poverty. Recom-mendations on harmonizing food production and pricing policies, the establishment of subregional information systems on food markets, the development of appropriate credit schemes for the private sector and the improvement of marketing infrastructures were endorsed by these meetings. Other studies focused on the identification of measures for developing and maintaining the natural resources base for ensuring sustained agricultural development, the rational exploitation of natural resources for producing non-conventional foods and for other uses such as shelter and foreign exchange earnings, and on policies for improving micro watershed management and soil conservation for arid and semi-arid areas for sustained development for the North Africa subregion.
Other studies undertaken in this area included:
(a) A study on developing frameworks and guidelines for African agricultural and food security policy analysts to develop and imple-ment comprehensive food security policies and programmes at national, subregional and regional levels and on identifying critical marketing issues for consideration and inclusion in national agricultural development plans;
(b) Developing analytical tools and training manuals for use in food security policy analysis and developing database and information systems related to food security programmes and monitoring the contribution of food security in alleviating poverty;
(c) Reviewing and assessing small farmer credit programmes in Africa in the light of the experiences of other developing countries with the view to improving the contribution of credit in reducing food insecurity and poverty;
(d) On measures for strengthening co-operation for the exploitation and management of shared fishery resources and another on live-stock and food security; and
(e) On assistance to the war-shattered African countries in their post-conflicts rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, which produced a framework for action programmes for countries devastated from war notably for Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique.
(b) Population and sustainable development
African countries in adopting the Kilimanjaro Programme of Action and the Dakar/Ngor Declaration on Population, Family and Sustain-able Development recognized population matters as integral part of the socio-economic develop-ment process. To this end, population activities for the most part of the biennium centred on the preparatory process to the International Con-ference on Population and Development, partici-pation of Africa in the Conference and follow-up on population issues, in line with the needs of member States, as expressed in the Dakar/Ngor Declaration, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, 1994 (ICPD.94), the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF) and Agenda 21.
(i) Preparation for the International Conference on Population and Development
Assisting member States to prepare for the International Conference or Population and Development (ICPD.94) was a major preoccupa-tion of the Commission. The preparatory pro-cess by African countries culminated in the adoption by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Heads of State and Government at its thirtieth ordinary session in 1994 in Tunis the "Declaration on Population and Development in Africa" endorsing the Dakar/Ngor Declaration adopted by the African Population Conference in 1992.
THE TUNIS DECLARATION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA
African countries in adopting the Tunis Declaration clearly:
* Affirmed their commitment to the attainment of the qualitative and quantitative targets of the Dakar/Ngor Declaration.
* Reaffirmed the need for a sustained effort in the formulation of explicit population policies and to establish and/or strengthen national institutions dealing with population issues.
* Committed themselves to reduce the current population growth rate to 2.5 per cent by the year 2000 and to 2 per cent by the year 2010, as well as to increase their budget allocations to population programmes.
* Recognized that peace, security, stability and the rule of law are necessary prerequisites for development and welfare of the African people.
* Stressed that population issues should be addressed in the wider context of socio-economic needs of African countries, including the areas of food security, health services, education and shelter and women.
(ii) Population activities
Despite the increased number of explicit population policies formulated the following situations persist: fertility is still high in most countries, mortality levels continue to rise, rural-urban migration continues. It was against this background that ECA's population activities gave specific attention to the situational analysis of critical population-related issues such as family planning, female migration, population age structure on resource utilization, mortality, population and environment, as well as the insti-tutional arrangements for the formulation and implementation of programme.
Among the various studies carried out to provide insights into population issues and their dynamics on sustainable development were the following: a study on "Family planning targets in relation to fertility reduction and reproductive health care" was carried out to assist the increasing number of African countries currently implementing family planning programmes as a way of moderating their demographic trends and improving the socio-economic conditions of their populations. The study focused on family planning programmes targeting, in the context of reducing fertility and improving reproductive health care. The findings from the study high-lighted the following as among the factors to consider in family planning: improvement in the general socio-economic conditions; government commitment to improve reproductive health; education of the girl-child and improved status of women and poverty alleviation.
Migration issues have featured prominently in ECA's population work. A new and emerging trend in migration in Africa relates to the increasing participation of female in migration. To better understand the phenomena, ECA undertook a study on "Patterns, causes and consequences for development planning of female migration in selected African countries". The study, based on a regional analysis and a case study of Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, revealed that the reasons for migration range from economic (employment seeking or com-mercially motivated), marital and political, as a result of decline in agriculture, coupled with the rising levels of educated females and the economic crisis. The consequences of long-term female migration include destabilization of families, etc.
A study on "The implications of population age structure on resource utilization and social security in relation to poverty alleviation" assessed the availability of social security schemes and the implications of population age structure and resources. The study observed that existing social security benefits are limited and, for the most part, only cover such benefits as maternal and child allowances and meagre pension benefits hardly enough to sustain basic lifestyles and result in aging population having to depend on the younger population for survival, the net effect of which is a vicious circle of poverty.
The interrelationship between population and sustainable development, with particular reference to linkages among environment, urbanization and migration was the focus of another study, which explored the migra-tory/urbanization (defined to include processes such as population concentration, dispersal and displacement, refugee movements, settlement, resettlement and tourism) causes and conse-quences of environmental stress, on the one hand, and the environmental causes and con-sequences of urbanization/migration. The study provided evidence to indicate the contributory role of environmental factors such as rural population pressure, drought, famine and desertification, insect infestation and diseases, soil erosion, natural disasters, migration and refugees in the continent. Conclusions drawn from the study underscored the need for inte-grated population and environmental policies and suggested policies pertaining to decentrali-zation, popular participation and transparency to tackle some of the adverse consequences aris-ing from the interrelationships among environ-ment, migration and urbanization.
The management of effective population programmes must be anchored to institutional arrangements capable of facilitating the process of integrating population factors in development plans, as well as providing a structured environ-ment for a member State to manage its national population programme. In this respect, an evaluation of institutional arrangements for the formulation and implementation of national population programmes in Africa was under-taken. The analysis of the information revealed that the institutional structures fall into three broad groups: those for formulating a popula-tion policy, those for implementing the policy measures and those for decentralizing the latter process from the national to the sub-national levels. Furthermore, in order to foster effective integration, the institutions established should be based on clear criteria, specified terms of reference per component of the structure as well as the mode and mechanism of collabora-tion between the various components.
(c) Environment and development in Africa
The Commission adopted Africa's Strategies for the implementation of Agenda 21 in 1993. The Strategies are based on the orientation that environmental challenges must be approached from a broader perspective - one that embraces broader development concerns. The Strategies fully recognized the linkages between environ-ment and sustainable development. Several activities were undertaken to strengthen national, subregional and regional capacities for the implementation of Agenda 21. For example, technical support was provided to IGADD in the re-orientation and revitalization of its activities on environment-related issues. Technical support was also provided to the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) to strengthen its operations and work programme, including mobilization of required resources.
Supporting measures to combat desertifica-tion, consistent with commitments made in rele-vant conventions was a major priority for the African region. Thus, ECA provided technical support in the various sessions of the Inter-governmental Negotiating Committee on Desertification. This assistance resulted in the adoption by African countries of a common orientation and approach to the negotiations, one in which Africa underscored the point that the problem of drought and desertification in the region was not just a technical issue; rather that desertification was a developmental problem which must be addressed from a multi-dimensional perspective. This required, for example, increased emphasis on the eradication of poverty and the development of alternative patterns of livelihood for poor communities.
(d) Issues relating to human settlements
The focus of activities in this area was related to the formulation and implementation of human settlements policies towards mitigating rural/urban imbalances in African countries and the promotion of the implementation of the Plan of Action contained in the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000.
Most African countries lack an integrated approach to human settlements planning within the framework of overall socio-economic development. Development plans have not ade-quately reflected sectoral and urban/rural linkages and this has resulted in some short-comings in the development of human settle-ments, especially in rural areas. The problems are exacerbated by high population growth, rural-urban migration and low population density in rural communities.
ECA provided support to member States in tackling the challenges of human settlements, notably through providing policy orientation and proposing strategies as well as in the mobiliza-tion of resources. Special attention was paid to the need to adopt integrated systems of planning, which took adequate account of rural and urban settlements needs.
African countries' efforts to implement the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000 was actively supported by ECA through country reviews and provision of guidelines for assisting countries to formulate policies to enhance the provision of shelter. The guidelines emphasized strategic planning and the need for concerted action by the public and private sectors in order to provide adequate shelter for all by the year 2000.
The secretariat is assisting African countries to prepare for the second United Nations Con-ference on Human Settlements (HABITAT II), scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. In this regard, ECA has coordinated and facilitated regional activities, in particular those leading to the articulation of a continent-wide position on human settlements, the regional report on the state of human settlements in Africa and the Continental Shelter Report/Atlas as contribution to HABITAT II.
DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
Africa's development must be rooted in sound and effective management practices in both the public and private sectors. This should be backed by leadership that is fully committed to creating an enabling environment within which the broad participation of its citizens in the development process can take place. Thus, the Commission's activities in the area of development administration and management were to promote good governance as part of an effort towards fostering policies favourable to the development of the private sector, enhanc-ing the efficiency of the public service, increasing awareness of the need for the judicious use of scarce resources as well as the need for accountability and increasing also awareness of the pressing need for the diffusion and dispersal of political and administrative powers through the mechanism of decentraliza-tion.
The secretariat prepared a report on "Private sector development and entrepreneur-ship through the creation of an enabling environment" which was reviewed by the Conference of African Ministers responsible for Human Development in 1994. The Conference made policy recommendations relating to the enhancement of productive activities and income-generating opportunities.
The secretariat undertook a number of studies aimed at strengthening the private sector in Africa. These included "Improvements in legal and regulatory constraints to private sector development", "Developing and streng-thening credit and capital markets for private sector development", "Fiscal policies for promoting indigenous private sector investment" and "The informal economy in African eco-nomies: Implications for appropriate fiscal policies". The key policy message from these studies was that the development and streng-thening of the private sector should be seen in the context of strategic measures taken by countries to speed up social and economic recovery and should therefore adopt policies aimed at removing factors that impinge on the development and contribution of the private sector.
Training remained a prominent feature of technical assistance in development administra-tion and management and took the form of national workshops conducted for member States. Three such workshops were held for Zambia on integrated public financial manage-ment, delivery and assessment of training programmes and on improving public financial management capacity and accountability. One other workshop was held for Ethiopian auditors on strengthening the capacity for public financial management and accountability, while a similar workshop was held for Ethiopian regional finance officers. Yet another workshop of the same genre was also held for Botswana.
ECA's activities also aimed at reinforcing the need for popular participation of civil society in the socio-economic development of their communities. This was done through a field
project on "Popular participation for sustainable development". The activities of this project were on catalyzing the participation of the masses of civil society, in particular NGOs in the development process. In this respect, work-shops and other fora were organized to facilitate the interface between governments and mass organizations. These fora promoted, among other things:
(a) The economic empowerment of women as a means of enhancing their contribution;
(b) Government by the people, one that recognized the importance of popular parti-cipation in decision making; and
(c) Interface, dialogue and cooperation between government and the NGOs for popular participation in national reconstruction and development.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
Africa's people are its main assets, who, on the one hand, are agents and, on the other, beneficiaries of sustainable development. It is for this reason that African Governments, households, NGOs, civic organizations and other stakeholders should commit themselves to the development of human resources as well as pro-viding their social needs.
ECA's programme of assistance placed emphasis on enhancing and strengthening the human and social dimension of development through the promotion of human- and social-centred development policies and strategies consistent with human resource and social issues and concerns in the African region.
In this regard, activities carried out during 1994-1995 focused on providing assistance to member States in the areas of:
(a) Planning, development and utilization of human resources and social development;
(b) Building and strengthening human and institutional capacities, including those of NGOs and people's organizations;
(c) Fostering popular participation and strengthening the social dimension of develop-ment.
(a) Providing policy guidance
ECA was the focus of concerted regional action at the World Summit for Social Develop-ment. It initiated action towards the formulation of an African position on human and social development, resulting in the adoption by African Governments of an African Common Position on Human and Social Development in Africa, which made substantive contributions to the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the Summit. The African Common Position mapped out an actionable agenda for human and social development which included actions at the national level, such as policy
shifts and increased resource allocation for programmes of poverty alleviation, creating productive employment and income, social integration, peace and political stability and the promotion and consolidation of popular parti-cipation in development in the region. It also delineated the various complementary actions needed to be taken by Africa's development partners to support the region's efforts at achieving human-centred development.
The responsibility for monitoring human development conditions in the region and follow-up on the implementation of the decisions of the Conference of African Ministers responsible for Human Development was entrusted to ECA. The Human Development in Africa Report series, a biennial publication of ECA which was launched in 1995, will be the main mechanism for monitoring progress on human development in Africa. The maiden issue of the series opened with a discussion on the consensus on human development, the concept and measure-ment of human development and the state of human development in Africa. It focused on the themes of "goals for the child", "health for all" and "basic education for all".
Through policy workshops, ECA created avenues to enhance dialogue and interface between government policy makers and planners on the one hand, and people's organizations on the other, on issues related to popular participation in development. In this connection, national workshops were organized in the following member countries: Egypt, the Gambia, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa. Other national training workshops aimed at strengthening the capacity of popular development organizations and NGOs to make contributions to and influence public policy effectively were held in the Gambia and Uganda.
(b) Technical assistance
In order to promote appropriate policy measures on issues of human and social development, capacity building and popular participation, the secretariat continued to focus
on providing technical assistance to member States in human resources and social develop-ment through seminars, workshops and advisory services. Among these were the national and subregional seminars and workshops on tradi-tional and non-traditional areas such as planning for human resources development and human development; human resources policies and programmes; human resources development challenges; employment planning approaches and productivity enhancement; the social impact of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs); the socio-economic impact of AIDS on house-holds and families with emphasis on its impact on the labour force; youth, drugs and health; the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS on house-holds and families in Africa; the impact of the African socio-economic crises on youth and drugs and health.
ECA hosted a global NGO Forum on "Build-ing sustainable societies: The role of NGOs in emergencies and social development", organized in Addis Ababa from 14 to 17 March l994, in collaboration with the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), the Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA), the Con-sortium of Ethiopian Voluntary Organizations (CEVO) and the Inter-Africa Group (IAG). The objectives of the forum were to analyze the role of NGOs in promoting peaceful conflict resolu-tion; identifying opportunities and constraints in the transition from relief to development and scaling up NGOs' long-term sustainable develop-ment efforts; and identifying modalities and strategies for promoting the development of strong, viable and active civil societies; as well as developing NGO concerns, positions and per-spectives which were presented to the World Summit for Social Development. The outcome of the Global Forum was the adoption of the "Addis Ababa Declaration on Building Sustain-able Societies: The Role of NGOs". In parti-cular, the Addis Ababa Declaration adopted recommendations on specific themes such as the crisis and opportunity for peace: from relief to development; the civil society and the foundations for democracy and social integra-tion; and NGOs' concerns.
STATISTICAL AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
The Addis Ababa Plan of Action for Statis-tical Development in Africa in the 1990s and the Strategy for its implementation currently define ECA's work in the area of statistical development. The objective of the Plan is to address the deficiencies in the statistical capacities of African countries, ranging from poor management of statistical offices and inadequate funding to lack of timeliness in outputs delivery as well as poor quality of data produced and poor systems for dissemination.
In this context, ECA's activities during the biennium placed emphasis on assisting countries in establishing and/or developing a durable structure with the capacity to generate, pro-cess, analyze and disseminate integrated demo-graphic, social, economic and environment statistics as well as other development informa-tion. These activities were carried out under two areas of emphasis: statistical development and information systems development.
As an advocate for Africa's statistics and information development, the secretariat uses the annual observance of the African Statistics Day and the African Development Information Day to stimulate public awareness on the important role which statistics and information play in all aspects of socio-economic develop-ment. The theme of the 1995 observance was "Strengthening information systems for informa-tion exchange in Africa". ECA used the occa-sion to call on member States as well as African regional and subregional institutions and donor agencies to support development information activities and adopt a more dynamic approach to information sharing.
(a) Statistical development
During the biennium, research and analysis on measures to help rehabilitate, revitalize and develop the statistical capacities and systems in the African region constituted the main thrust of ECA's activities. These situations were reviewed through the following research activities:
(a) Evaluation of 15 years of operation of the Statistical Training Programme for Africa (STPA);
(b) Research in national statistical services and STPA centres;
(c) Statistical needs assessment and planning: a review of approaches and current practices;
(d) Statistical data processing practices in the region; and
(e) Compendium on Environment Statistics which specifically focused on climatological issues relating to environment.
In all these studies, the need to give special attention to the human resources capacity for the generation and processing of statistical data and information was underscored. So also was the need to develop the institutional and infra-structural capacity. Concerning the human capacity, training and other staff development opportunities were suggested as possible options for creating the critical mass required to meet the statistical needs of the region. The need for providing technical assistance, espe-cially by the international community was also highlighted as necessary support for capacity building in this area. African countries should show greater commitment by investing more in statistical and information needs of the region. The research activities also stressed the need to coordinate activities and resources for greater effectiveness.
In fostering the establishment of the African Economic Community, processing of trade data must be given significant importance and atten-tion. Another reason for developing trade statistics is the obvious decline in African countries capacity to report on their trade data. This lack of capacity is attributed to many factors, among which are the non-functioning of institutions responsible for trade statistics and the brain drain of staff. To take remedial action, ECA undertook a study to evaluate the problems
faced by African countries in the collection, processing and dissemination of trade statistics. The survey results showed that the responsibi-lity for the collection, processing and dis-semination was spread among customs adminis-tration office and central statistics office respectively. The problems experienced range from:
(a) Collection related; delays in received custom forms, missing forms, illegal trade, lack of training of staff, inadequate transport faci-lities, lack of cooperation between the customs administration office and the central statistics office, and poor completion of the customs forms;
(b) Processing related; inadequate budget, lack of proper software packages, low staffing levels, lack of computers and poor priority setting; and
(c) Dissemination related; printing delays, inadequate budget, lack of printing machines and delays in preparation of manuscripts.
In conclusion, the following long-term solutions to the problems were suggested: training of staff in the collection, processing and dissemination of trade data; training of customs staff in the collection and presentation of trade data; provision of support, financial and tech-nical for the processing and dissemination of trade and statistics products.
(b) Promoting development information
Africa is yet to join the information revolu-tion. And yet, economic development in Africa will depend heavily on the development of the information sector. While substantial progress has been made in the collection analysis, storage, retrieval and dissemination of statistical data, very little was, until the last few years, done in the field of non-numerical data. The nature of the information age with its elimina-tion of barriers means that the economy has become truly global. Suppliers can obtain necessary inputs regardless of country of origin on a "just in time" basis. For Africa to export even its primary commodities, it needs access to current information on a daily basis. To avoid further economic and social marginalization, African countries must secure access to emerg-ing information and communication techno-logies. The positive side of this challenge is that if African countries choose to develop policies, strategies and programmes in this area, the capital investment costs are far lower than in other sectors and the opportunities greater for using the new technologies to leapfrog to improved growth and sustainable development.
There is increasing evidence that applica-tions of the information technology are spread-ing in many poor countries around the world and producing many benefits. Information techno-logy is increasing the scope and quality for long-distance learning by making it possible to share educational facilities including teachers, whose store of knowledge can be accessed via on-line facilities or CD-ROMs. Information technology is also reducing the time it takes to identify and exploit opportunities for trade, investment and finance.
For the above to take place, the ECA Pan-African Development Information Services (PADIS) undertook various activities, namely sensitizing member States to replace the inade-quate telecommunication systems, training people in such fields as computers, data management, networking, information policy development, systems development, etc. PADIS continued to be an active advocate for reform of the laws and regulations that impede the flow of information and information techno-logy. During the biennium, PADIS was also involved in assisting African member States in the creation or strengthening of the national information content, especially national data-bases, both statistical and textual.
Information sharing among the African countries is of great importance to them in sharing experiences. In this regard, PADIS was involved in the development of norms and standards which are making it easier for African countries to exchange development information.
To accelerate development information system in Africa, ECA Conference of Ministers responsible for Economic and Social Develop-ment and Planning adopted, in 1995, resolution 795 (XXX) entitled "Building Africa's informa-tion highway" which requested the Executive Secretary to set up a high-level working group to put together an African action plan on using information and communication technologies to accelerate socio-economic development. Under the auspices of PADIS, the working group has
met and put together an action plan which will be considered by the ECA Conference of Ministers at its May 1996 meeting.
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
Africa is endowed with abundant natural resources. Most African countries have recog-nized the need to have capacities to exploit natural resources in order to produce the goods and services to meet the needs of their popula-tion. This requires the formulation and imple-mentation of policies and strategies for sustain-able development of natural resources and energy in Africa. There is scope for not only for national action but also regional collaboration efforts in this area.
The promotion of natural resources develop-ment and utilization requires the development of human and institutional capacities to provide the necessary technical skills and knowledge needed. Thus, the secretariat's work continued to focus on strengthening of institutional, tech-nological and human capabilities in data acquisi-tion, its analysis and utilization for natural resources and environmental management as well as streamlining policies and strategies in surveying, mapping and remote sensing in Africa.
(a) Providing policy direction
ECA provided leadership in the development of policy orientation for the development and management of Africa's natural resources and energy. A major regional Conference of African Ministers responsible for the Development and Utilization of Mineral Resources and Energy was organized in Accra, Ghana, in November 1995 under the theme "Policies, strategies and pro-grammes for a greater contribution of mineral resources and energy to the socio-economic development of Africa". The major outcome of the conference was the formulation of a pro-gramme of action which called for the develop-ment of capacities and capabilities by African countries for the development and utilization of the continent's mineral resources and energy so that they could contribute more effectively to the socio-economic development of Africa.
In addition, an important ad hoc expert group meeting was also organized in July 1994 to deliberate on policies and strategies for the development and utilization of natural resources and energy in Africa. The meeting formulated recommendations and provided guidelines to governments, donors, international and regional organizations and the private sector aimed at enhancing the sustainable development of natural resources and energy at national, subregional and regional levels.
Several publications were also issued. These included:
(a) Raw mineral materials for fertilizers;
(b) Study on the current situation of the mining sector in Africa;
(c) Prospects for the increased production of intra-African trade in aluminum commodities and metal products; and
(d) Prospects for the increased production of intra-African trade in copper metal and copper-based products.
(b) Sector specific activities
Activities were also geared towards sector specific issues, namely energy, water, mineral resources, marine resources, cartography and remote sensing thereby allowing for special pre-scriptions for their effective development and management.
(i) Energy resources development and management
Activities in energy resources development and management aimed at assisting African member States in the development of indi-genous energy sources and the formulation of adequate energy policies and strategies as well as in strengthening institutions and capacity building through the training of African experts in the energy sector.
In this regard, policy-oriented reports addressing major issues such as energy policies and strategies, privatization and deregulation of the energy sector, energy role in poverty alle-viation and regional economic cooperation and integration through energy trade and power pooling were presented for discussion at the above-mentioned Regional Conference of African Ministers responsible for the Develop-ment and Utilization of Mineral Resources and Energy. These reports reviewed the energy situation in Africa and provided the following observations and recommendations:
(a) Despite the fact that Africa was endowed with abundant primary energy resources in the form of oil, natural gas, hydropower, coal, peat, lignite, geothermal, fuelwood and other new and renewable sources of energy, these resources are still under-developed due to the lack of appropriate policies, strategies, programmes and low level of resource allocation and technology;
(b) Policies and strategies concerning pricing, fiscal and other incentives aimed at encouraging the participation of the private sector in the exploration and development of indigenous energy resources should be vigorously pursued.
Some of the studies carried out by ECA provided information and data on which policy guidelines for the development and utilization of energy in Africa were proposed to member States. These policies were particularly directed at the technology options to be considered, available energy resources, institutional arrange-ments financing and sources as critical elements in the planning of energy, especially for rural communities. What emerged from all these studies was the recognition of the importance of energy development to the revitalization of the private sector and therefore the need for member States to take appropriate actions to improve the energy situation in the region. Alternate sources of energy generation should be explored, especially localized power sources capable of providing energy in rural com-munities. The need for governments to encourage private entrepreneurs to invest in the search for and development of energy should be stepped up.
These guidelines and strategies were pre-sented in the following publications:
(a) The viability of using photovoltaic energy for rural electrification in Africa;
(b) The economic viability of manufacturing turbines and generators for mini-hydropower in African member States; and
(c) Policies and strategies for the develop-ment and utilization of natural resources and energy in Africa.
(ii) Management of water resources
Africa is a continent split between those with abundant and those with scarce water resources. This general feature of plenty in the midst of scarcity calls for cooperation if the water resources of the region are to be mobilized to support the social and economic development of the region as a whole. It was against this background that the secretariat provided assistance in mapping out a broad framework for water resources development in a global perspective. The framework empha-sized the need to conceive water resources programmes in a holistic manner, taking into account linkages and interactions of water activities with socio-economic development sectors. It also stressed the need for develop-ment to be guided by sound policies and planning principles, thus avoiding disruption of environmental and ecological equilibrium. Those policies should reflect the need and/or importance of water quality and impact of climate change; drinking water supply and sani-tation; water for agriculture; subregional co-operation and river/lake basin development; water conservation; paying equal attention to ground and surface water; floods and droughts; inter-institutional cooperation for water resources planning and development; and investment in water development and manage-ment.
Special attention was given to country-specific water concerns through in-depth analysis on which recommendations were made. A case in point is the assistance provided to the Ethiopian Government in rationalizing its water development approach. The Government has adopted an integrated approach that seeks to achieve sustainable use of water through an appropriate balance between the use of surface and ground water resources. Assistance was also provided to Egypt to strengthen its training capacity in the field of hydraulic engineering and to Seychelles to prepare a project proposal for harnessing surface water.
(iii) Mineral resources
The biennium witnessed concrete moves by many countries to adopt minerals development policies and strategies aimed at attracting investment. These included new mining legis-lation providing security of tenure, new fiscal regimes favourable to private investors and the reduction of state participation in mining activities. In this respect, two countries stood out - Ghana and South Africa. With regard to Ghana, the growth of mining production was as a result of policies introduced to revamp the mining industry, which focused on the rehabi-litation of existing major industries; increased exploration and development of new mines; strengthening of national institutions to support mining activities; and support to small-scale mining operations. South Africa, on the other hand, enhanced mineral production through increasing value added processing.
ECA contributed to these challenges through activities aimed at strengthening national institutions to support the activities of the private sector in the minerals sector. These included defining measures for the improvement of small-scale mining by proposing specific legis-lation that would create an enabling environ-ment and the provision of technical assistance on such issues as production using new techno-logies, the economic use of mining waste pro-ducts, prospects for the increased production of and intra-African trade in aluminium, copper commodities and metal products.
(d) Marine resources
Assisting African countries to implement the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea with a view to them benefitting collec-
tively or individually from the vast ocean resources, namely reservoirs of food, energy, materials and space existing in Africa's sea bed was a major objective in the marine sector.
A major initiative was the holding of a "Regional Leadership Seminar on Marine/Ocean Affairs in Africa", organized in collaboration with the International Ocean Institute (IOI), as a platform for launching the process of ocean resources development in Africa. Among other things, the seminar defined policies, strategies and a programme of action to exploit the abundant living and non-living resources of the sea in the context of the Abuja Treaty. These policies and strategies emphasized the need for developing capacities for exploration, optimum exploitation and sustainable development and management of the ocean resources for the benefit of Africa's people. The implementation of these strategies would require cooperation among African countries in the development of scientific knowledge, technological capacities and management skills, development of an appropriate legal institutional framework, development of infrastructure and mobilization of financial resources.
(e) Cartography and remote sensing
For many African countries, information on natural resources does exist but much improve-ment could be made through a mix of interven-tions aimed at rationalizing resource information needs and strengthening capacities to generate and manage information. In response to this need, the major activities of the secretariat in the field of cartography and remote sensing aimed at strengthening the capacity of subre-gional institutions to provide information genera-tion and management services to member States, in diagnosing the problems facing Africa and proposing remedial actions required to correct the situation.
In its efforts to assist its member States to build or improve their capacity to access and annualize adequate information, particularly concerning the adoption and use of modern data acquisition and processing technologies, the Commission undertook several studies which resulted in the following publications:
(a) The status of mapping programmes in Africa: Strategies to fill spatial information gaps;
(b) Framework for the establishment and utilization of national geographic information infrastructures;
(c) Land information systems for land resource planning with special attention to forest management; and
(d) An assessment of the status of the remote sensing programme for Africa and its contribution to the goals of Agenda 21 and the requirements of sustainable development.
Provision of technical and managerial advisory services to relevant regional institutions also constituted the thrust of ECA's interven-tion. These were provided to the Regional Centre for Services in Surveying, Mapping and
Remote Sensing (RCSSMRS), the Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS) and the African Organization for Cartography and Remote Sensing (AOCRS).
Issues concerning the development and management of resource information and its value in policy definition was also given atten-tion by the Commission. An ad hoc expert group examined issues affecting the generation and management of resource information, which included poorly defined information needs, lack of commitment and understanding at all levels, the need for technological capacities required to provide relevant information. In order to correct the present trend, the policies and strategies should be guided by the following: resource information as a fundamental requirement for making decisions on natural resources develop-ment and utilization; the need for building institutional base; and the need for greater involvement of the private sector.
INFRASTRUCTURAL AND STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION Two programmes of action adopted by the United Nations General Assembly drive ECA's work in this subprogramme. These are the second United Nations Transport and Communi-cations Decade in Africa (UNTACDA II) and the second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA II). These programmes provided frameworks within which infrastructural and structural transformation, in particular in transport and communications and industrial development, can take place. Closely asso-ciated with this objective was the need for countries to formulate policies and implement strategies, including the application of science and technology for the development of sustain-able industrial capabilities and efficient transport and communication systems.
The implementation of the two Decade pro-grammes formed the focal point of ECA's work during the biennium under this subprogramme. Most activities focused on assisting member States and relevant IGOs with their infrastruc-tural and structural transformation programmes by undertaking studies, providing technical support to enhance the capacity of national and subregional level institutions to implement the programmes. In this regard, much emphasis was placed on the development of the scientific and technological base required for the realiza-tion of the objectives of the two Decade pro-grammes.
(a) Transport and communications development
A mid-term review of efforts in the imple-mentation of the UNTACDA II programme was undertaken during the biennium. The evaluation study for the review confirmed the continued validity of the global and sectoral objectives, strategies and projects of the programme. However, implementation was fraught with several shortcomings, mainly associated with financing, functioning of the various organs and institutional mechanisms and unfulfilled commit-ments. For example, the national coordination committees (NCC) were not established in some countries; many of those which had been estab-lished did not function according to their terms of reference; the Resource Mobilization Com-mittee (RMC) did not succeed to raise funds for the Decade's activities and projects.
The evaluation made several recommenda-tions to improve the future implementation, in particular mobilization of resources for the implementation of the various programme com-ponents. It would be necessary as a first step for member States to internalize the mobilization of resources through the active involvement of the private sector and the adoption of innovative internal resource mobilization drive.
As lead agency for the implementation of UNTACDA II, ECA's efforts aimed at facilitating inter-State transport and communications, acce-lerating institutional reforms, improving human resource capacities, etc. In this connection, ECA continued to participate actively in the implementation of projects requiring regional co-operation, while at the same time provided assistance at the subregional and regional levels.
Regional programmes such as "Human resources and institutional development (HRID)" and the "Transport database" project were used as vehicles for building the critical capacities required for the effective implementation of the UNTACDA II programme.
The human resources and institutional development project aimed at assisting African countries develop their human resources and institutional capacities for the management of transport and communications. The key acti-vities undertaken during this period were especially directed at enhancing policy and institutional reforms and the preparation of the pilot phase, including mobilization of support for financial and technical assistance for project implementation.
The transport database project has been effective in highlighting the deficiencies relating to transport data and the resulting implications on policies and decisions taken. Through the activities of the project, the level of awareness on the need for transport data and the useful-ness of information derived from it has been heightened. One of the major outputs of the project during the biennium was the develop-ment of sets of performance indicators on transport and communications.
The development of an efficient air transport system and network was being pur-sued through the promotion of cooperative arrangements with a view to enhancing the size and profitable operation of air transport services within the framework of the Yamoussoukro Declaration on a new African air transport policy. A review of progress in the establish-ment of the modalities for cooperation and inte-gration of African airlines was the focus of the Conference of African Ministers in charge of Civil Aviation, held in Mauritius in September 1994. The meeting, having analyzed progress made in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration, adopted measures aimed at progressive liberalization of traffic rights and strengthening the move towards the integration of African airline companies. Specific measures relating to the exchange of freedoms of the air were also adopted by the meeting.
ECA's support to transport and communi-cations development in Africa also included research and analysis of critical issues relating to the development of the sector. Accordingly, the secretariat undertook research on some major developments in the postal services and telecommunications sector in Africa in an attempt to identify key issues to which African countries should pay particular attention.
For the postal services sector, a study was undertaken and a technical publication prepared on the impact of new courier services in the postal sector in Africa, from which the major finding was that the postal sector has played a major role in market liberalization and compe-tition as it had to contend with private messenger and courier services long before liberalization and competition became fashion-able in the new development paradigm. Further-more, the report showed that many African countries have been forced to separate postal services from the traditional organization of posts and telecommunications, thus granting the postal sector greater administrative and financial autonomy in order to allow it to com-pete more effectively with the courier services in the increasingly liberalized postal services
market. The study made several recommenda-tions to African Governments, in general, and to postal administrations, in particular, regarding the management of postal services to better serve customers and improve their competitive position in the liberalized market. Of particular note is the recommendation that efforts be made to extend postal services to the rural com-munity where the majority of the African popu-lation lives, as the only means available to them to communicate with the rest of the world.
Telecommunications is arguably undergoing revolutionary changes the world over. Given Africa's weak position in the global telecom-munication system, the secretariat carried out a study on the Development and application of mobile communications in Africa with a view to assessing its possible application to meet the rapidly growing demand for telecommunications. The study recommended, among other things, the need for:
(a) More coordination among African countries in the introduction of cellular mobile telecommunication services with a view to pro-moting cross-border mobility as well as joint procurement and manufacturing arrangements;
(b) Establishment of regulatory structures which allow for and promote private sector participation in the development of telecom-munications in Africa;
(c) Application of cellular technology for rapid expansion of telecommunication services to remote areas.
Another study on "Financing policies and practices in transport and communications sectors in Africa, including taxation, user fees, joint ventures and private sector financing" was undertaken. The study concluded that:
(a) The sector is mainly funded by the public sector through general and specific tax revenues, borrowing and grants; and
(b) Lack of relevant financial and fiscal data does not allow for a proper assessment of the extent to which transport and communica-tions priority expenditures for investments and operational costs vary from country to country.
Nevertheless, the majority of the countries which have relevant data have indicated that the share of investment is high.
The study made a number of recommenda-tions addressed to African Governments, public enterprises, the private sector including financing institutions and the international community to assume their share of responsibi-lity effectively to increase the financial per-formance of the transport and communications sectors.
One of the priority areas of the UNTACDA II programme is rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of the most critical elements of the existing infrastructure and equipment as measures to improve their efficiency, capacity and utilization as well as prolong their economic life. An examination of these possibilities was carried out through a study on the "Improve-ment of maintenance management systems in the fields of rail, road and inland waterways transport in Africa". This study made a number of recommendations calling on African Govern-ments to cooperate among themselves and with the ECA secretariat in order to improve signifi-cantly maintenance management systems in the African transport subsectors such as road, rail-ways and inland waterways.
The secretariat, through its advisory services, provided technical assistance to a number of countries and subregional organiza-tions on the following issues:
(a) Draft legislation on national tele-communications policy;
(b) Drafting the telecommunications regional strategy for Africa;
(c) Contributing to the programme on training of sorting and transit centre specialists, which was jointly organized in 1995 by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the Pan-African Postal Union (PAPU) for English-speaking African countries; and
(d) Providing assistance to Sierra Leone on transport policies, to Nigeria on transport data-base and to South Africa (SARTOC).
(b) Industrial development in Africa
A key goal of Africa's development is to diversify its economic base such that it relies less on primary commodities and more on pro-cessed and semi-processed products. The United Nations Industrial Development Decade for Africa programme seeks to accomplish this. This goal takes an urgent and important dimen-sion in view to a number of recent events at the international and regional levels, such as the signing of the Uruguay Round Agreement, the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the coming into force of the Treaty estab-lishing the African Economic Community. These events imply that Africa should reexamine how it does business among itself and with the rest of the world.
It was against this background that the twelfth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Industry, held in Gaborone, Botswana addressed itself to the key issues of national policies in creating an enabling environ-ment, private sector and entrepreneurship development, competitiveness of African industry, subregional and regional cooperation, mobilization and utilization of African financial and human resources.
The ministers in their resolve to face the challenges of industrial development adopted the "Gaborone Declaration as a statement of reaffirmation of their commitment to the objec-tives of the Industrial Development Decade for Africa.
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN AFRICA
THE GABORONE DECLARATION
We, The Ministers of Industry, at the twelfth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Industry, held in Gaborone, Republic of Botswana, from 6 to 8 June 1995, have undertaken an in-depth and critical assessment of the industrial situation in Africa, the various global economic changes including, in particular the Uruguay Round, the globalization and liberalization of the World economy as well as technological changes and their impact on the implementation of the IDDA programme. We recognize the important orientation contained in the Cairo Agenda for Action adopted by the seventeenth extraordinary session of the OAU Council of Ministers.
Within this overall framework, we reaffirm our commitment to the industrialization of Africa, individually and collectively.
We, therefore, commit ourselves to the following measures and actions to be urgently and vigorously undertaken with a view to relaunching our industrial development and accelerating the implementation of our programmes for the second IDDA at the national subregional and regional levels:
A. National policies
Create an enabling environment of peace, security, stability and the rule of law;
Create and maintain a stable macroeconomic environment and the right strategy and policy framework for industrial development;
Build key human and institutional capacities to support industrialization;
Undertake the mobilization and efficient utilization of domestic financial resources and attract foreign direct investment.
B. Private sector and entrepreneurship development
Facilitate the full involvement of the private sector to participate actively in the industrialization process of African Countries;
Take measures to support efforts for the private sector to organize and mobilize itself to contribute effectively to the industrialization of our countries;
Undertake all efforts to encourage the development of African entrepreneurs;
Prepare ourselves to meet the challenges that will result from the globalization and liberalization of the World Economy, the Uruguay Round and the Growth of Regional Economic Groupings;
Exploit our comparative advantages;
Improve our competitiveness, efficiency, quality management and the application of international standards.
D. Subregional and regional cooperation
Give practical meaning to the essential role of our subregional and regional economic communities by providing them with the support they need;
Support and strengthen our regional and subregional technological and scientific institutions;
Increase our intra-African trade and cross-border investments.
E. Mobilization of resources
Achieve increased efficiency in the mobilization and utilization of our financial and human resources;
Encourage investment in the productive sector as opposed to speculative activities;
Appeal for the resolution of the debt problem;
Facilitate the retention of human capital and reverse brain-drain;
Restructure our education systems to address our industrial development needs through technical education, vocational training, engineering and managerial education, on the one hand so as to promote the spirit of enterprise and to inculcate an industrial culture on the other hand.
F. Other Areas
Remove the socio-cultural constraints impeding the full involvement of women in the development of Africa;
Promote women's access to education including particularly business education and introduction to science and technology;
Provide a healthy environment for the African youth as the policy makers and entrepreneurs of the future;
Within the context of IDDA II, the secre-tariat undertook a number of studies whose findings and recommendations were presented in publications produced during the period under review. The thrust of these activities was directed at assisting African countries in refor-mulating and redesigning national industrial policies and plans with a view to reorienting them towards facilitating the implementation of IDDA II.
To assist member States in the implementa-tion of the Decade activities, advisory services were provided to Angola, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Malawi in the following areas: development of sugar industries, engineering industries, fuel production, metal and small-scale industries development.
(c) Science and technology for development
During the biennium, the secretariat's acti-vities in the area of science and technology emphasized strengthening the infrastructure and policies for the development and application of science and technology at national, subregional and regional levels as well as enhancing the impact and effectiveness of science and techno-logy in socio-economic development. The main modalities for promoting this objective were conferences and meetings, research and advisory services.
Among the many conferences organized was the African Regional Conference on Science and Technology, held in November 1995, which examined measures for accelerating the development and application of science and technology capacities in the African countries. The meeting outlined measures for ensuring closer links between science and technology policies and overall economic development policies, with the full participation of the private sector in the promotion of science and techno-logy. It also highlighted specific actions for creating critical capacities in science and technology and dynamizing their contribution to the socio-economic development of member States.
Other meetings held during the biennium were:
(a) Ad hoc expert group meeting on nuclear science and technology which reviewed efforts to promote collaboration, among African member States, in the peaceful uses of atomic energy, including the identification of common problems in nuclear science and technology the solution of which could be amenable to subre-gional or regional efforts. The meeting also reviewed the existing potentials in nuclear science and technology which could provide the basis for cooperation and assessed progress in the implementation of a project on "the applica-tion of nuclear science and technology for food security, economic integration and sustainable development in Africa";
(b) Meeting of the Southern Africa Working Group on Science and Technology, with the assistance of the ECA secretariat, which formu-lated a subregional science and technology policy which would help member States har-monize their national policies and enhance co-operation in capacity building based on the limited resources and the relative strengths and potential of individual States. It also proposed parameters for subregional cooperation in the following activities: school/university-industry linkages; science and technology and society; harmonizing science and technology policies in the subregion; training and exchange of teachers and researchers;
(c) Seminar on incentives for the develop-ment and application of science and technology, the objective of which was to facilitate the exchange of experiences in the use of incentives to promote the development and application of science and technology in Africa. It examined the successful experiences in the African and Asian countries, identified constraints and pre-requisites for success and recommended policies and strategies for enhancing the impact of incentives on national science and technology capacity building and utilization and mechanisms for follow-up at national and regional levels;
(d) Round-table on the science and techno-logy protocol of the African Economic Com-munity, which reviewed the draft protocol and underscored a number of important elements which should be incorporated in the overall strategy for bringing technology to the centre of development considerations in the member States;
(e) Ad hoc group meeting on the acquisi-tion and transfer of technology, which examined the issues in and the mechanism for technology transfer in the context of the emerging African Economic Community and the new world order and established fresh perspectives on the role of technology transfer in member States' overall efforts to acquire and build their technological capacities. It also spelt out a major role for the governments in formulating clear strategies and providing enabling environments necessary for ensuring that beneficial technology transfer is accelerated within the ongoing liberalization of the economies and the evolving international context.
Research activities were undertaken in three main areas. The first activity related to the use of the incentives for promoting the development and application of science and technology. The study revealed a wide range of incentives in use, viz: systemic/organizational, institu-tional/infrastructural, financial, fiscal, budgetary, honorific, legal and regulatory. The second study, entitled "Contribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) technological capacity build-ing", analyzed FDI in selected countries followed by an assessment of the role and impact of FDI on technology transfer and competitiveness. The findings indicated that the scope for encouraging and directing FDI flows and the need for African countries to take deliberate measures to ensure that FDI facilitates the accumulation of endogenous technological capa-cities. The third study, entitled "Appropriate science and technology indicators for Africa", revealed that the general paucity of data directly related to science and technology and research and development on one hand, and the exis-tence of adequate studies and information on
economic development on the other, provides the background for producing preliminary science and technology indicators. Furthermore, there exists a strong interest from non-governmental quarters in developing such indi-cators and sufficient expertise to conduct surveys for providing basic statistics on science and technology.
Technical assistance in the form of advisory services was provided to the Central African Republic, the Congo, Mozambique, Senegal and the Sudan. These consultations focused on the strengthening of the national policy-making organs, the revitalization of the science and technology system and the formulation of clear, comprehensive and effective science and tech-nology polices to contribute more meaningfully to national development. In the case of Mozambique, the advice focused on the estab-lishment of a national mechanism for the promo-tion and coordination of science and technology efforts in the country and the modalities of its operation.
In addition to services to individual coun-tries, support was also given to regional IGOs and NGOs, namely the African Regional Centre for Technology (ARCT) and the African Regional Organization for Standardization (ARSO) through support given in the organization of the second Presidential Forum on the "Mobilization of Africa's development-oriented scientific talents and management skills, 1995-2005", which was held in Maputo, Mozambique. Similarly, the secretariat assisted the International Ocean Institute (IOI) in conducting a technical evalua-tion of potential host institutions in Senegal for its West African regional centre.
WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT
ECA's work in the area of women in development has been wide-ranging and cataly-tic. The secretariat was actively involved in preparing African countries to participate in the fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995. The most important outcome of all the preparatory acti-vities was the adoption of the African Platform for Action by the fifth African Regional Con-ference on Women preparatory to the fourth World Conference on Women, held in collabora-tion with the Government of Senegal. The African Platform for Action identified 11 critical areas of concern for African women and recom-mended accompanying actions to accelerate women's advancement and mainstreaming into activities and programmes affecting society as a whole.
In addition, the secretariat produced the following publications which were widely dis-seminated, especially in Beijing:
(a) The African Platform for Action: Africa's Common Position for the Advancement of Women;
(b) Guidelines for the implementation of the African Platform for Action;
(c) Summaries of national reports;
(d) Gender issues in Africa;
(e) African Women and Leadership;
(f) International legal instruments relevant to women.
Upon request from participants, the secre-tariat prepared a booklet, entitled "Gender in Africa: The issues, the Facts" (an ECA pocket reference publication, in collaboration with the World Bank).
ECA and OAU served as a joint secretariat to the African group at the fourth World Con-ference. Under the auspices of the group, a Regional Meeting of Women Leaders was held. This meeting reviewed and took a common posi-tion on issues that were still in brackets, to be resolved prior to the World Conference.
As a follow-up to the World Conference, ECA has established of an African Women Leadership Fund which aims at building the capacity of women to face the current economic, social and political challenges.
ECA'S REGIONAL ADVISORY SERVICES PROGRAMME
This section provides an overview of the advisory and training services delivered by the ECA Multidisciplinary Regional Advisory Group (MRAG). The Group applies multidisciplinary approaches to the search for solutions to the development problems confronting African Governments and their IGOs.
The assistance provided covered a large area of development concerns, including regional cooperation and integration; develop-ment finance, debt and resource flows; manage-ment of statistical systems; employment and human resources development and planning; energy and development; entrepreneurship, pri-vatization and public enterprise management; environment and development; food and agricul-tural policy and planning; rural development; crime prevention and drug control; popular participation; industrial and technological development and promotion; information systems development; macroeconomics and policy reforms; national accounts; public administration and fiscal affairs; water resources development; transport and communications; gender and sustainable development.
More than 40 African countries, all the major regional IGOs as well as a number of smaller ones were provided with assistance. For instance, Burundi, Lesotho, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritius and Seychelles, among others, were assisted to build up their institu-tional and technical capacities in the field of organization and management of statistical systems, particularly for the development of basic statistics targeted at the specific needs for data to address policy concerns as well as on modalities for strengthening the organization and development of systems of national accounts. Activities in these countries covered basically the generation and analysis of statis-tical data, both economic and social, including statistics on poverty, gender and the environ-ment for the informed formulation and monitor-ing of socio-economic policy and situation as well as the impacts of these policy measures.
In the area of information systems develop-ment, a number of countries and IGOs bene-fitted from the services of ECA, among which were Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and IGADD. Assistance was provided on a variety of issues relating to information systems development aimed primarily at enhancing the capability of member States and IGOs to collect, store, retrieve and disseminate information on socio-economic development matters. In the course of the biennium, a number of important net-works were created for strengthening the development of information systems on the continent. These included the West African Development Information System (WADIS), the Standing Committee on the Harmonization and Standardization of Documentation and Informa-tion Systems and the PADDEV programme for database development and management.
Services were delivered on the institutional and substantive issues of economic cooperation and integration, particularly as they relate to the establishment of the African Economic Com-munity. These services were provided to coun-tries and subregional IGOs in the development of cooperative arrangements, particularly in the promotion of science and programme develop-ment for integration and cooperation. Assis-tance to Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, the Congo and Senegal was to evaluate the training needs in science and technology for the preparation of negotiations between the Congo and the other three countries. Similarly, services were pro-vided to Tunisia in developing an inventory of institutions of higher education in basic science and technology to be used in promoting scien-tific cooperation between Tunisia and the Congo. Through the activities of MRAG, important links were established between the Maghreb Arab Union and the other subregional economic groupings in Africa while, at the same time strengthening mechanisms for accelerating the process of economic integration in the North African subregion itself.
The critical concerns of public sector management and its role in the overall manage-ment of the African economy was given special attention through the support provided to a number of African Governments such as Botswana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and Zambia. In particular, issues related to public sector pay and motivation, performance management, ethics and accountability and the development of human and institutional capa-cities were addressed. Most notable among those was the secretariat's services to the Government of Namibia to assist with the estab-lishment of the wage and salary commission. The secretariat actively participated in the review of the civil service salary structure and the development of a technical paper subse-quently adopted by the wage and salary com-mission as a conceptual framework to guide its functions and operations. Assistance in private sector development included training in public enterprise management and strategic planning was also provided to Eritrea.
In the area of employment and human resources planning and development, services were provided broadly on capacity building and specifically on the formulation of employment-generation programmes particularly for women, youth and rural communities; training to planners and practitioners on realistic techniques and approaches to employment planning; and policy measures for maximizing the utilization of human resources such as reducing the brain drain and its impact on African economies. More specific cases relate to:
(a) Assistance given to the research and development forum for science and development in Africa (RANDFORUM) on strategies for reversing the brain drain from African economies which led to the creation of a regional pro-gramme known as distressed and expatriate scientists and scholars from Africa (DESSP);
(b) Assistance to the Government of Mauritius whereby advisory services were pro-vided on strategies for human resources development in the ministries of cooperatives and of women, family and child development. Both made proposals on how the ministries con-cerned could be restructured and how a systematic human resources development strategy could be put in place.
Services were provided on various aspects of food and agricultural policy and planning with a view to increasing the capacities of govern-ments and IGOs to prosecute sustainable agri-culture and food production policies so as to increase food production, food security and self-sufficiency and reduce poverty on the African continent.
As concerns energy, the environment and development, assistance was provided to such IGOs as IGADD and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on coopera-tion mechanisms in the area of energy, environ-ment, infrastructure development and manage-ment of the natural resource base. Regional institutions such as African Regional Centre for Technology (ARCT), the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) and the African Centre of Meteorological Applica-tions for Development (ACMAD) benefitted from advisory and training services in these fields. A number of countries were assisted with the formulation of policies or strategies on energy and the environment and especially with their efforts in implementing Agenda 21 and the Con-vention on Desertification.
Member States received considerable assis-tance in policy and programme formulation, particularly with regard to their positions on women and development for the World Con-ference on Women. A number of training acti-vities were also provided for the benefit of African Governments, NGOs, IGOs and academic, professional and training institutions.
In the area of macroeconomics and policy reforms, advisory services were provided to a number of countries on a range of issues of rele-vance to their development concerns. These included input-output analysis and macroeco-nomic modelling for planning and projections and a macroeconomic analysis of the sustain-ability of the public investment programme in Seychelles; management of the external debt of the Central African Republic; identification and assessment of the development priorities of Angola; and the delivery of training programmes to African planners at IDEP. Services were also provided in the areas of trade and related economic matters, particularly on debt, trade liberalization and financing, and the improve-ment of congruent economic policy instruments.
Assistance continued to be provided to member States and IGOs on policies, strategies and programmes for developing transport, communications and industrial systems in Africa within the context of UNCTADA II and IDDA II.
AFRICA: CRITICAL ECONOMIC SITUATION, RECOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT
The United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF) was launched in response to the call for the intensification of concerted action on identified critical areas central to Africa's durable and sustained transformation. The UN-NADAF was also to be the framework for developing the compact for partnership on which to mobilize commitment in the form of complementary and supplementary support from Africa's external friends and the international community.
For Africa, the UN-NADAF signified their commitment to the creation of conditions con-ducive for economic growth and social develop-ment, including internalization of their development priorities as well as the domestic resources required. The problems Africa must overcome to achieve the objectives of the UN-NADAF are daunting: reduction in development
resources, increase in poverty, population pres-sure, threat to food self-sufficiency and security, deterioration in productive capacity, breakdown in most of the social sectors - education, health, etc.
Within the context of the role entrusted to it to monitor the implementation of the pro-gramme, ECA undertook the following activities: organization of a regional seminar on the role of NGOs in the implementation of the UN-NADAF; contribution to the Asia-Africa Forum and follow-up on the implementation of the Bandung Framework for Asia-Africa cooperation for Eastern and Southern African countries; pre-paration of studies on key factors pertaining to Africa's economic recovery including resource flows, commodity diversification and capacity building required for the diversification of the African economies.
III. COOPERATION AND RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND PARTNERS
Cooperation with other development partners continued to be an important element in ECA's efforts to provide support for Africa's socio-economic development. Indeed, building effective partnerships is one of the cardinal principles guiding the reform and renewal that has been under way in ECA since mid-1995. Enhanced cooperation with partners helps ECA to expand its network and outreach by leverag-ing resources to expand its scope of services to African countries. The network of relationships during the 1994-1995 biennium covered NGOs, IGOs, bilateral and multilateral organizations and United Nations agencies which together made valuable contributions in terms of financial or technical support to the implementation of the programmes of the Commission.
The scope of collaboration during the biennium covered several areas, including: information systems development; issues of women's advancement; public sector reforms and management; natural resources develop-ment and management, agriculture, in particular food self-sufficiency and security; population concerns; monetary and financial issues; trans-port and communications; and industrial development.
ECA collaborated with some partners in research and other activities involving analysis and documentation of development issues in Africa. For instance:
(a) OAU and FAO collaborated with ECA in preparing the framework for developing a common African agricultural programme within the context of the African Economic Com-munity;
(b) The Universal Postal Union (UPU) worked with ECA in carrying out a study on the impact of new courier services on postal ser-vices in Africa; and
(c) The World Bank collaborated with ECA in the preparation of a booklet, entitled "Gender in Africa: The issues, the facts" (a pocket reference publication).
As in the past, ECA had close working relations with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Popula-tion Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Educa-tional, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Pro-gramme (UNEP), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Meteorological Organi-zation (WMO) in global programmes, especially as they affect Africa. There was also close collaboration between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and ECA in the implementation of such regional programmes as UNCTADA II and IDDA II.
Activities with IGOs and NGOs expanded in all areas of development. The following examples represent the fruitful relationship developed with IGOs and NGOs during the biennium:
(a) The launching of a newsletter (FEMMELINE) by the African Women's Develop-ment and Communications Network (FEMMET) with input from ECA;
(b) The World Energy Council (WEC) collaborated with the Tunisian Government, OAU and ECA in the organization of the first Pan-African Energy Ministers Conference;
(c) ECA and the World Assembly of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) exchanged experience in small enterprises.
Inter-agency related actions also repre-sented opportunities for cooperation in areas of mutual interest. These included:
(a) Inter-Agency Task Force meeting organized to agree on inputs into the preparation of documents for the fifth African Regional Con-ference on Women;
(b) Inter-agency activities related to the United Nations System-wide Plan of Action for the implementation of the UN-NADAF, the United Nations System-wide Special Initiative on Africa and UNTACDA II; and
(c) Inter-Agency activities related to sector-specific issues such as water, statistics and development information.
The following meetings and conferences jointly organized with partners were significant:
(a) OAU/ECA/ADB within the framework of the Joint Secretariat organized several meetings primarily to generate support for launching the activities of the African Economic Community, preparation for the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for Social Development and the World Con-ference on Natural Disaster Reduction; many of these resulted in the adoption an African Common Position on the issues for discussion;
(b) Collaboration with UNESCO in organizing a regional symposium and regional meeting on science and technology on the strategic role of science and technology in enhancing Africa's economic recovery. There was further collaboration with UNESCO on the organization of a Conference on University-Industry-Science Partnership (UNISPAR), during which project proposals from various African institutions were reviewed for funding under the International Fund for the Technological Development of Africa;
(b) The Joint WMO/ECA International Conference on Water Resources Policy and Assessment in Africa was held to develop a programme for enhancing the capacity of African countries for water resources assess-ment, development and management;
(c) The Water, Environment and Marine Affairs Section contributed to the organization and servicing of an ECA meeting on policies and strategies for the development and utilization of natural resources and energy in Africa;
(d) Cooperation with the Centre for Science Development of the Human Science Research Council of South Africa on the organization of an international seminar on science systems and Africa;
(e) UNEP/ECA joint support to the sessions of the African Ministerial Conference on Environ-ment;
(f) UNCHS(HABITAT)/OAU/ECA coopera-tion in the organization of several meetings on the preparation of HABITAT II;
(g) International Labour organization (ILO)/ECA meeting on a study of macro-policy framework for small-scale industries;
(h) Joint ECA/UNIDO workshop on the participation of women in manufacturing as well as organization of the twelfth meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Industry and the Private Sector Forum.
IV. MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES
The resources for the implementation of ECA activities derive from two sources: the regular budget and extrabudgetary. The regular budget resources are voted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the extra-budgetary resources are those which the secre-tariat negotiates with Africa's bilateral and multilateral partners.
Regular budget resources are mainly used to finance the secretariat's substantive activities, such as the servicing of meetings of the legis-lative organs of the Commission and the imple-mentation of technical activities, encompassing the preparation of materials for publication. These activities also include promotion of inter-national cooperation and the provision of advisory services. In addition, certain regular budget resources, for example, the United Nations Regular Programme of Technical Co-operation, are used primarily for the imple-mentation of technical cooperation activities.
Extrabudgetary resources, on the other hand, are primarily used to fund operational activities including advisory services, group training and implementation of field projects.
B. Management of financial resources
The 1994-1995 regular budget resources approved by the General Assembly covered the cost of implementing the work programme of the Commission and in the provision of adminis-trative support and services. The allocation of US$94,627.60 was to finance activities under:
(a) Regional cooperation for development in Africa;
(b) Regular Programme of Technical Co-operation;
(c) Staff training;
(d) Transnational corporations;
(e) African critical economic situation; and
(f) Construction, alteration, improvements and major maintenance.
The Commission also sought supplementary resources from multilateral and bilateral partners to support project activities that are field oriented and for which regular budget resources were insufficient.
1. Resources by source
Table 1 shows the resources allocated to ECA by source:
Table 1. Allocation of resources by source (in thousands of US$)
|1.||Regular budget allocations:|
Section 23: Economic Commission for Africa
Section 12: Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation
Section 28: Staff training activity
Section 35: Construction, alteration, improvements and major maintenance
Section 45: African critical economic situation
|Section 15: Transnational corporations||499.0||518.5||508.1|
United Nations agencies
|United Nations Development Programme||28,852.8||15,034.6||1,632.6|
|United Nations Population Fund||8,607.6||4,799.6||4,033.7|
|United Nations Trust Fund for African Development||2,117.8||2,337.4||1,559.7|
Following is a brief explanation of the significant changes in 1994-1995 versus those of the preceding biennium.
(a) Section 23: Economic Commission for Africa
The financial crisis facing the United Nations resulted in special measures, effective mid-September 1995, designed to conserve cash. As a result, 1994-1995 budget alloca-tions were reduced to levels approximately equal to those of the previous biennium.
For ECA, these reductions mandated by the special measures related to the financial crisis resulted in the postponement of some activities to the 1996-1997 biennium and the termination of some low priority level activities as well as curtailment of support services.
(b) Section 12: Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation
Resources provided increased substantially (by 67 per cent) to strengthen ECA's ability to provide technical advisory services to member States.
(c) Section 35: Construction, alteration, improvements and major maintenance
These funds are primarily for the construc-tion of the new United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa. With the approaching completion of the Centre, the allocations for 1994-1995 were correspondingly reduced.
(d) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Continuing a trend that started in 1990-1991, allocations from UNDP were significantly lower. The decrease reflects a worldwide strategic shift by UNDP, which emphasizes projects executed at the national level by governments, rather than through regional organizations like ECA. 2. Regular budget expenditure by programme of work
Table 2 provides trends in expenditure by programme of work:
Table 2. Regular budget expenditure by programme of work (in thousands of US$)
Section 23: Economic Commission for Africa
|A. Policy making organs||496.5||435.9||608.5|
|B. Executive direction and management||3,503.8||2,543.9||3,045.8|
|C. Programmes of activity|
|Agricultural and rural development||2,198.7||2,249.2||1,942.2|
|Development issues and policies:|
|1. Socio-economic, research and development||3,312.7||3,216.4||3,105.9|
|2. Human resources development||1,172.5||1,099.3||1,059.1|
|Environment and development||524.7||441.6||544.6|
|Trade and development cooperation||2,805.2||2,076.0||1,804.0|
|Economic cooperation and integration:|
|1. Management of economic cooperation||2,304.1||1,307.6||1,512.7|
|(a) Gisenyi MULPOC||410.3||688.7||662.5|
|(b) Lusaka MULPOC||1,109.4||1,136.4||1,640.5|
|(c) Niamey MULPOC||1,372.0||1,522.2||1,525.5|
|(d) Yaounde MULPOC||961.0||992.0||1,074.4|
|(e) Tangier MULPOC||697.7||869.6||1,324.8|
|2. Least developed, land-locked and island countries||-||604.7||632.0|
|Monetary and financial policies and strategies||-||524.7||585.4|
|External debt crisis||-||388.7||436.4|
|Public administration and fiscal affairs||917.0||1,194.6||1,145.5|
|Science and technology for development||917.5||804.5||743.1|
|Transport and communications||3,387.8||3,461.3||3,385.1|
|Energy, including new and renewable||413.3||623.9||639.8|
|Advancement of women||-||660.3||755.9|
|D. Programme support|
|Management of technical cooperation||915.4||969.0||862.7|
|Administration and common services||15,617.7||15,698.5||16,378.2|
|Construction Planning Unit||252.8||585.0||434.7|
|E. Staff training||197.6||-||-|
|F. Early separation programme||-||-||516.1|
Following is a brief commentary on expendi-tures as reflected in table 2.
(a) Policy making organs
The expenditures under policy making organs relate to the cost of organizing and servicing meetings of the Commission's legis-lative organs such as the Conference of Ministers responsible for Economic and Social Development and Planning and its Technical Preparatory Committee of the Whole.
(b) Executive direction and management
Expenditures relate to the Office of the Executive Secretary in directing and managing the work of the secretariat, in particular the renewal of ECA to serve Africa better.
(c) Lusaka and Tangier MULPOCs
Increases reflect higher staffing levels in line with the strategy to strengthen the delivery of services directly to member States via subre-gional MULPOC offices.
(d) Administration and common services
Increase reflects higher expenditures for computer equipment and supplies.
3. Expenditure by object of expenditure
Table 3 provides trends in actual expendi-tures by section (source of funding) and by object of expenditure. The most recent biennium's expenses are also compared to the initial budget appropriation. It should be noted that these initial appropriations were revised downwards through the biennium and actual allotments received are shown in table 1.
Significant changes in 1994-1995 expenses versus those in 1992-1993 are as follows:
(a) Section 23: Economic Commission for Africa
(i) Established posts: Whereas the number of posts has remained rela-tively constant, vacancies among professional posts have been higher in 1994-1995, thereby reducing expenses. Posts were kept vacant to allow for maximum flexibility for the ECA restructuring. This was partly offset by the freeze on recruitment during much of 1992-1993, which reduced expenses in that biennium;
(ii) Temporary assistance for meet-ings: The increase is primarily due to higher costs for interpreters and translators;
(iii) Consultants: 1994-1995 expenses include $430,000 for the ECA renewal programme, a new initia-tive designed to revitalize ECA;
(iv) Other official travel: United Nations Headquarters-imposed restrictions limited travel to a greater extent in 1992-1993 versus 1994-1995. Hence, 1994-1995 expenses are higher. Another factor in the increase is airline fares;
(v) Furniture and equipment: During 1994-1995, additional emphasis was placed on purchase of com-
puter equipment to modernize and improve connectivity and produc-tivity at ECA;
(b) Section 12: Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation
General temporary assistance and other official travel: The increase reflects higher allocations from the General Assembly in recognition of greater emphasis on advisory ser-vices to member States;
(c) Section 35: Construction, alteration, improvements and major maintenance
New premises: These are expendi-tures for the new United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa. The Centre was substantially completed by year-end 1995.
Table 3: Regular budget expenditures by budget line and 1994-1995 comparative expenditures and appropriations
(in thousands of US$)
|Object of expenditure||1990-1991||1992-1993||1994-1995||Initial budget appropriation||Difference versus expenditure|
|A.||Section 23: Economic Commission for Africa||62,258.5||66,369.5||67,958.9||76,963.2||9,004.3|
|Temporary assistance for meetings||1,109.5||857.3||1,296.5||1,554.5||258.0|
|General temporary assistance||879.8||842.7||726.3||1,021.6||295.3|
|Consultants fees and travel||339.0||361.6||1,030.2||655.3||(374.9)|
|Overtime and night differential||175.7||161.7||202.9||225.9||23.0|
|Ad hoc expert group meeting||154.2||214.5||200.8||390.5||189.7|
|Common staff costs||21,452.9||22,516.0||22,874.1||24,897.7||2,023.6|
|Staff travel to meetings||412.0||455.4||484.6||675.2||190.6|
|Other official travel||1,278.8||1,191.7||1,443.6||1,742.0||298.4|
|External printing and binding||120.5||97.2||172.1||171.9||(0.2)|
|General operating expenses||334.0||-||-||476.4||476.4|
|Rent and maintenance of premises||485.5||537.8||680.3||641.5||(38.8)|
|Rent and maintenance of equipment||368.9||812.3||710.5||901.9||191.4|
|Supplies and materials||1,407.8||1,746.2||2,176.7||2,209.8||33.1|
|Furniture and equipment||336.3||677.1||1,202.6||1,100.4||(102.2)|
|Grants and contributions||413.9||1,145.6||1,219.8||1,147.2||(72.6)|
|B.||Section 12: Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation||3,718.2||4,299.1||7,476.1||7,709.1||233.0|
|General temporary assistance||3,060.0||3,734.7||6,412.3||6,250.0||(162.3)|
|Other official travel||407.3||556.4||967.6||1,338.1||370.5|
|Furniture and equipment||5.4||8.0||96.2||121.0||24.8|
|Fellowships, grants and contributions||17.0||-||-||-||-|
|D.||Section 35: Construction, alteration,|
improvements and major maintenance
|Alteration and improvements||11.8||561.0||136.4||563.0||426.6|
|E.||Section 43: African critical economic situation||-||284.8||458.5||447.7||(110.8)|
|General temporary assistance||-||-||103.2||67.5||(35.7)|
|Consultants fees and travel||-||25.6||39.4||48.3||8.9|
|Common staff costs||-||103.3||121.0||110.6||(10.4)|
|Other official travel||-||50.2||54.2||65.4||11.2|
|F.||Section 15: Transnational corporations||396.8||559.5||480.8||664.3||183.5|
|Consultants fees and travel||40.9||38.1||55.4||78.8||23.4|
|Common staff costs||115.7||209.7||145.4||220.2||74.8|
|Other official travel||29.2||29.3||35.0||54.9||19.9|
|Other official travel||-||-||-||-||-|
4. Resources from United Nations agencies
and bilateral donors
Table 4 shows the amount allocated to ECA by United Nations agencies and bilateral donors.
Table 4. Resources from United Nations agencies and bilateral donors
(in thousands of US$)
|A.||United Nations agencies||39,578.2||22,171.6||7,226.0|
|United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)||28,852.8||15,034.6||1,632.6|
|United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)||8,607.6||4,799.6||4,033.7|
|United Nations Trust Fund for African Development (UNTFAD)||2,117.8||2,337.4||1,559.7|
|International Organization for Migration (IOM)||61.7||104.8||-|
|Islamic Development Bank (IDB)||-||47.7||-|
(a) United Nations Development Pro-gramme (UNDP)
The significant decrease in 1994-1995 is due to the new policy of UNDP which empha-sizes projects executed at the national level rather than through regional organizations, such as ECA. During 1994-1995, resources were pri-marily for the UN-NADAF and the public administration, human resources and social development areas.
(b) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Contributions are primarily for technical co-operation activities and operational projects executed by ECA, especially in the field of human resources and management of population issues.
(c) United Nations Trust Fund for African Development (UNTFAD)
The decline in 1994-1995 is due to reduced pledges and actual contributions made by member States. The 1994-1995 amount also includes $248,700 for UNTACDA II.
(d) Bilateral donors
Significant contributions during 1994-1995 were from:
(a) Netherlands: for services of a bilateral expert seconded to ECA as well as operational activities;
(b) Canada: through the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for build-ing computer networking capabilities in Africa;
(c) Germany: for projects on promotion of the informal sector and popular participation in development;
(d) Carnegie Corporation: for projects on enhancing information systems in Africa and science and technology;
(e) Norway: for the fourth World Con-ference on Women;
(f) Italy: for improving the communica-tions network at the African Centre for Women.
5. Summary of expenditures versus resources:
Resources received from United Nations agencies and bilateral donors
Table 5 shows the amount spent versus that allocated in respect of resources made available to ECA by United Nations agencies and bilateral donors.
Table 5. Summary of resources and expenditures by programme
(extrabudgetary resources from United Nations agencies and bilateral donors)
versus resources (%)
|African Centre for Women||757,327||450,729||60|
|Cabinet Office of the Executive Secretary||929,684||457,707||49|
|Economic Cooperation Office||546,696||270,208||49|
|Industry and Human Settlement Division||208,477||159,999||77|
|International Trade and Finance Division||36,827||36,827||100|
|Natural Resources Division||410,177||386,684||94|
|Pan-African Development Information System||1,081,662||807,909||75|
|Public Administration, Human Resources and Social Development Division||1,029,750||665,745||65|
|Programme, Planning and Coordination Office||39,900||35,859||90|
|Socio-economic, Research and Planning Division||376,263||168,726||45|
|Management of technical cooperation activities||330,526||297,329||90|
|Transport, Communication and Tourism Division||414,680||342,946||83|
As shown in the table, ECA used on average 72 per cent of the resources available during 1994-1995 to undertake technical co-operation activities and operational projects.
C. Information technology development
Since 1991, ECA has progressively intro-duced new information technology and systems to enhance operations and communication both within the secretariat and the outside world. Projects within the Information Systems Section have focused on the installation of new com-puter equipment and software to meet user requirements and the expansion of the local area networks (LANs). The development of customized user applications continued, result-ing in the completion of 11 major applications; most notable is the payroll and accounts system.
Other projects for improving the com-munication links of the Commission, such as an on-line Internet connection are well under way, with plans to upgrade this link from line to full mode. Other projects for enhancing the com-munication link include the installation of the integrated management information system (IMIS) scheduled to be fully operational in 1997, the wiring of ECA facilities and installation of a new telephone system which is expected to be completed in the 1996-1997 biennium.
Internal training courses were provided to enhance word processing capabilities, and spreadsheet and database applications. Thirteen such training sessions were conducted, exposing more than 600 staff members to computer applications and skills development.
D. Human resources management
(a) Posts for the implementation of the 1994-1995 programme budget
In the biennium 1994-1995, the secretariat had a total of 245 established posts at the pro-fessional level and 377 local level posts for the implementation of its programme of work under section 15 of the regular budget. Temporary resources were severely reduced in 1994-1995 to only 38 professional level and 37 local level posts, as compared to 80 and 93 respectively in 1992-1993, reflective of the drastic reduction in the flow of extrabudgetary resources to the Commission.
(b) Status of recruitment
During the biennium 1994-1995, the secre-tariat, like all other United Nations organizations, was faced with a major financial crisis which affected staff recruitment and resulted in a high vacancy rate. As of December 1995, ECA counted 56 vacant posts at the professional level, out of a total of 245 posts, representing a 22.8 per cent vacancy rate. A total of 14 pro-fessional staff members came on board through either recruitment or placement.
At present, there are 61 ECA staff members on peace-keeping assignments. The secretariat staff serving on field assignment is reflective of ECA's increased participation in peace-keeping and other field operations. (c) Staff development and training
Staff development and training constituted an important element of human resources development. It placed emphasis on the upgrad-ing of knowledge, skills and linguistic profi-ciency, relevant to the Commission's work pro-gramme, with the objective of improving the qualitative input into programme delivery as well as the managerial and supervisory roles of pro-gramme managers and section chiefs.
Language courses, in Arabic, English and French, were continued for staff of ECA, other United Nations agencies and consular personnel in Addis Ababa. As part of the implementation of the 1994-1995 translator training pro-gramme, ECA launched the programme 1995, which ran for nine months, ending in February 1996. This training prepared candidates for the official United Nations Competitive Examinations for recruitment as English/French/Arabic trans-lators/précis writers.
The Secretary-General's overall strategy for improving human resources management in the United Nations system continued to be given priority attention at ECA. A major initiative in this direction was the organization of a training programme for ECA staff on the new per-formance appraisal system (PAS) which is to replace the performance evaluation report (PER). The PAS aims at improving work performance; creating a new environment which emphasizes managerial accountability, responsibility and efficiency; links individual work plans and performance to programme objectives and organizational goals; and recognizes the importance of ongoing dialogue between staff and supervisors on issues relating to per-formance and programme implementation. In order to initiate the process, staff were trained on the modalities of implementing the PAS and a local implementation team was established to assist the management in the implementation of PAS, which is to start in the 1996-1997 biennium.
The General Service Classification Appeals and Review Committee (GSCARC) was expected to complete its work by the first quarter of 1996. As regards the maintenance stage, the ECA Joint Advisory Committee has considered the draft administrative instruction and submitted its proposed amendments to Headquarters. The official issuance, by the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, of the administrative instruction, will provide ECA the authority to update, from time to time, the classification of general service posts.
In view of the ECA restructuring process, a number of professional posts will need to be reclassified to bring their duties in line with the ECA strategic directions. This exercise has commenced and will continue throughout the year.
(e) Gender balance
As of October 1995, ECA counted only 37 female professional staff or 16.5 per cent of the total professional level posts (245) subject to geographical distribution. Of these 37, only three were at the P-5 level and one at the D-1
level. However, improving the status of women in the secretariat continued to be given added attention by ECA, especially in the context of the "special measures for the achievement of gender equality in the United Nations". Specific efforts in this direction included the revitali-zation of the Task Force on the Status of Women in ECA (TAFWE) whose terms of reference include making specific proposals on how gender balance could be achieved in ECA. TAFWE is currently assisting with the com-pilation of a roster of qualified women from which ECA could draw candidates for vacancies as and when they occur.
In the context of the change management at ECA, TAFWE has developed a project mapping out action required to meet effectively the targets set by the United Nations Secretary-General, in gender parity.
(f) Human resources management in the ECA renewal process
The role and place of human resources management in the revitalization of ECA is con-sidered of utmost importance in the ongoing ECA renewal process. In this connection, in order to make human resources management a core competence, ECA has embarked on developing a human resources management strategy which is closely aligned with the new ECA strategic directions. The new strategy puts emphasis on performance management, trans-parency, staffing strategy, staff development, more participation by line managers, improving the quality and timeliness of services through streaming and automation of processes, in-house conflict resolution, gender balance, etc. Hence, the new Human Resources and Systems Management Division is structured in such a way as to make human resources management in ECA more efficiency-driven, user-friendly and responsive not only to the needs of individual staff but also to the organization's human resources requirements for programme delivery.
V. FUTURE DIRECTION OF THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA: THE RENEWAL PROGRAMME AT ECA
The scope of the reforms in the Commission initiated 10 months ago is wide-ranging, cover-ing policy orientation, programmes, organiza-tional structure and management practices. The reforms are guided by three principles, namely excellence, greater cost-effectiveness and more effective partnerships. The reform process has been marked by a broad consultative process.
The consultative process for the reform began with the staff of the Commission being given the opportunity to suggest ideas for improving the current processes and products of the Commission. These consultations were in two phases: divisional level strategic focus meetings and Commission-wide professional staff only consultations. The first phase focused on examining what the strategic priorities of each Division should be while the Commission-wide consultations focused mainly on sharpening ECA's focus, strengthening its partnership and increasing its impact. The outcome of this process is now the document entitled Serving Africa better: Strategic directions for the Economic Commission for Africa. It formed the basis of consultations held in January 1996 with 40 high-level African experts drawn from govern-ment, the private sector, academia and civil society as well as the Bureau of the Com-mission. It will be considered by the Com-mission at its annual session in 1996.
To promote excellence in ECA's work, three inter-related actions were taken. First, the skills profile of the professional staff were assessed with a view both to better re-assigning staff resources to areas of cognate experience and expertise and to make a needs assessment for skills upgrading. Second, ECA's publications were reviewed with the aim of identifying best practices to be reinforced and continued as well as suggesting improvement for others and dis-continuing some. Third, a comprehensive management review of ECA's budgeting, planning and human resources management was undertaken. This review made a number of recommendations for reforming ECA's organiza-tional processes and procedures in these three areas which are critical to the efficient opera-tions of the Commission.
To promote greater cost-effectiveness, a review of the areas of the programme focus of ECA was undertaken. The programmes of the Commission have now been consolidated to five to ensure that the Commission's limited resources are focused on activities that have measurable impact on Africa's development problems. In consequence, the proposed new focus for ECA's work has a number of key features: it promotes synergy among inter-related areas of its programme; it responds to new and agreed priorities in Africa's develop-ment; and it will entail the strengthening of its monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to enable better measurement of the impact of its pro-grammes in African countries; and it will faci-litate complementarity between the activities of the Commission and those of other agencies of the United Nations system operating in Africa.
Indeed, to build effective partnerships, ECA has initiated consultations with African regional organizations, agencies of the United Nations system and NGOs and associations to identify areas of collaboration. In pursuance of that effort, ECA held a consultative meeting with potential international partners in early April. The meeting was attended by representatives of agencies of the United Nations system, bilateral donors and some international foundations. The modalities for cooperation will vary from partner to partner, depending on the particular project to be pursued. Partnerships are likely to endure and be more productive, if the comparative advantages of each partner are well known. An important component of ECA's reform, there-fore, is to reinforce its competencies in the new areas of programme focus.
B. Medium-term Plan, 1998-2001
The crosscurrents of financial austerity, reforms and a strong commitment to serving Africa better provide the backdrop to the formulation of the next Medium-term Plan, 1998-2001. The Medium-term Plan outlines the programme orientation of the Commission and serves three essential functions, namely: it spells out the objectives which the Commission will strive to achieve during the Plan period; it provides the framework for the formulation of the biennial programme of work and programme-budgets for the period; and it indicates how each subprogramme of the Plan will contribute to the achievement of the Commission's principal objectives. The overall objective of the Commission's programme in the Medium-term Plan is to pro-mote the economic and social development in Africa. ECA will seek to achieve this objective through its analytical, advocacy and advisory work. Reflecting the reform of ECA's pro-gramme orientation, the Plan has been organized around five subprogrammes. These are:
(a) Facilitating economic and social policy analysis;
(b) Ensuring food security and sustainable development;
(c) Strengthening development manage-ment;
(d) Harnessing information for develop-ment; and
(e) Promoting regional cooperation and integration.
Two cross-cutting programme considera-tions will underpin the five areas. These are promotion of women in Africa's development and capacity building. Each subprogramme describes the goals which ECA will strive to achieve and identifies indicators of progress.
The subprogrammes are consistent with and broadly reflective of the set of policy issues which African countries are according high priority in their development agenda. Conse-quently, the composition and focus of each of the five subprogrammes reflect both change and continuity. There is change in terms of addressing new and emerging issues in Africa's development, and continuity to ensure the
implementation of mandated ongoing pro-gramme activities.
C. Administrative and organizational changes
The changes in the programme structure provided the impetus for the organizational restructuring which will be implemented in two phases. The first phase announced in January 1996 centred around administrative support functions. Three service divisions have been created, corresponding to the critical points of leverage which cut across the whole organization. These are the Human Resources and Systems Management Division; the Programming, Finance and Evaluation Division; and the Conference and General Services Division. To promote, sustain and support the implementation of change in these three areas, a Change Management Team has been established, led by a coordinator in the Office of the Executive Secretary.
The Change Management Team is working on realigning the programme and administrative functions including, in particular, human resources management; programme planning, budgeting and evaluation; building an effective integrated information management function; and the development of strategies for establishing appropriate service standards for ECA's procurement, travel and protocol, building management, conference and translation services and security. Its work should result in laying a foundation for enhanced effectiveness and efficiencies.
The second phase of the organizational restructuring will focus on the substantive divisions. Three principles will guide that component. First, there will be congruence between programmatic and divisional structure to enhance accountability for programme management and delivery. Second, the new structure will evince a stronger strategic focus, reflecting an equally strong commitment to increased impact. Third, there will be stronger thematic focus within the programme divisions, so that there is a critical mass of technical expertise for each subprogramme which will translate into more teamwork and less hierarchy.