The mandate of the Economic Commission for Africa to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intraregional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. ECA has an important and dual role as the regional arm of the United Nations and as an integral component of the pan-African multinational institutional landscape.
In October 2012, ECA embarked on a strategic retooling and reorientation process to ensure that it remains relevant in the light of the rapid and ever-changing dynamics involved in the development of Africa. The restructured fellowship programme shall continue to provide an avenue for knowledge-sharing and opportunities for young people to contribute to the shaping of policies at the regional level. The fellowship programme is also better aligned with the new capacity-building strategy of ECA and responds proactively to the capacity development needs of member States.
In initiating this programme, several fellowship categories have been designated to fit within the four key areas identified by ECA as being fundamental for ensuring regular, relevant and sustained contributions to the African transformative agenda. These categories are aligned with the four of objectives of the ECA capacity development strategy: ensure that ECA policy research and statistics are strategically relevant; ensure that ECA knowledge delivery is strategic, a “good fit” and that inputs, products and engagement are sound and influential in promoting the African transformation agenda; ensure that ECA operationalizes an integrated and coherent approach to capacity development through effective interdivisional cooperation and substantive partnership; and ensure alignment of incentive and support systems.
Under the guidance of mentors, fellows are assigned to teams. As members of those team, they are expected to make contributions towards achieving the assigned unit’s work programme while gaining a broad view of the Commission’s mandates, policies and functions. ECA presents an invaluable opportunity for young people, especially Africans, who are highly qualified, motivated, innovative and talented in areas relevant to the commission’s work, such as macroeconomic policy development, regional integration and industrialization, natural resources management and development planning and statistics.
The main objectives of the ECA fellowship programme are:
1. To support young African scholars in gaining professional knowledge and operational experience and in applying this new and innovative knowledge toward the achievement of the transformative agenda of Africa;
2. To provide opportunities for young African scholars to work in an international environment;
3. To build a community of experts in Africa that can serve as a resource for formulating, implementing and monitoring development activities at the national, subregional, regional and international levels.