Abidjan, 23 March 2013 (ECA) — Delegates to the Committee of African Experts of the Sixth Joint Annual Meetings of the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance today agreed on the need for a refocused programming for ECA that supports the transformation agenda of Africa.
The revision of ECA’s Strategic Framework for the biennium 2014-2015 responds to the change in the global economic structure as well as the transformative agenda of African member States. The prevalent view was that ECA must, of necessity, retool itself and recalibrate its programmes to support the transformative agenda of African member States.
Lately, Africa has registered swift and relatively strong recovery from the global economic crisis, and progress on the political and social fronts is driving a new spirit of optimism about Africa’s prospects and potential. Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of ECA stated that: “Sustaining these positive trends must rank high on the priorities of member States as well as of institutions like ECA, whose main role is to be a catalyst for progress in Africa by assisting member States in their development policies and efforts,”.
Member States welcomed the reconfigured programmes which will focus on conducting research and normative work to support African member States in transforming their economies from low-income to middle-income status. “ECA will assume a frontline role in generating the necessary statistics to strengthen the ability of African countries to formulate sound evidence-based policies.”
Programming will emphasize the central role of regional integration in African development by promoting the nexus between trade, industry, agriculture, land, infrastructure, investment, intra-Africa trade and participation in international trade.
The programming will also feature social development prominently and adjust to megatrends such as urbanization and shifting demographics.
In line with the global trend, ECA will undertake and facilitate research and analytical work on the use of innovations and technological systems as engines of economic growth.
The programming will also focus on addressing the systemic socio-cultural barriers and their impact on limiting the capacity of member States to put in place legislative, policy, and institutional changes that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Referring to the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), experts called for more resources to boost the institute’s capacity for training.
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