Addis Ababa, 13 October 2017 (ECA) – The Economic Commission for Africa on Friday officially welcomed some 30 young fellows for the 2017-2018 cohort as the organization seeks to help build a critical mass of young African thinkers and experts who can contribute to the designing, implementation and monitoring of policies that can help transform the continent’s economies.
In welcoming the fellows, ECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha, said the fellowship programme was one of the tools the ECA was using to implement its capacity development strategy and to deliver capacity to Member States.
She challenged the young fellows to work hard and contribute towards Africa’s economic and social development, adding they should not hold back but challenge ECA professionals during their time with the organization.
Through the fellowship, Ms. Biha said, the ECA seeks to build a critical mass of skills for member countries to help in the implementation of Africa’s transformative agendas, including the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for development.
“The programme aims to support you African scholars to gain exposure and experience and to apply new and innovative knowledge in the achievement of Africa’s transformative agenda,” said the Deputy Executive Secretary, adding it will also provide an opportunity for the youth to gain exposure working in an international environment.
The fellows been deployed into various ECA divisions and its sub-regional offices.
“As part of the ECA capacity development endeavor, we hope we have chosen the right group of young people to help accelerate Africa’s development, and to catalyze ECA’s performance and innovativeness so that it produces and delivers cutting edge research. More importantly we hope you will leave here with enhanced skills to help Africa transform economies,” said Ms. Biha.
She said Africa’s future lay in the hands of her youth, telling the fellows this was their time to rise and shine for their continent.
For his part, Director, Stephen Karingi of the Capacity Development Division, which is running the programme, said he was delighted to welcome the young fellows.
“We have set up a strong foundation to ensure you are supervised, mentored and trained effectively within a supportive environment. As the fellowship goes on, we shall continue to strengthen our support structures to ensure that all of us involved in this programme, end up with a very productive experience,” he said.
Mr. Karingi said by the end of the programme the fellows would have acquired specialized knowledge in their respective areas.
He said a fellows’ alumni network would be created going forward.
“We look forward to making the much-needed positive capacity development impact on our member States and Africa through people like you so we need you to challenge us; think radically and make your contribution to the formulation of policies that will help transform Africa,” Mr. Karingi said.
The fellowship programme is multifaceted in that it falls under skills development and also forms part of the ECA’s strategic initiatives such as youth and gender empowerment as well as enhancing the capacity of member States to achieve their development goals.
The programme also aims to build a community of experts in Africa that can serve as a resource for formulating, implementing and monitoring development activities at the national, sub-regional, regional and international level.
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