Niamey, Niger, 14 September 2017 (CEA) – The Economic Commission for Africa will continue to support African countries in their quest for inclusive growth and prosperity, in particular ensuring peace and security issues are addressed as no progress would be registered in unstable areas, ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Ms. Giovanie Biha, said recently.
Speaking on Niger’s national television following a High-Level Policy Dialogue on Conflicts and Development in the Sahel Region and their consequences on development within the region, Ms. Biha said peace and security were prerequisites for economic development.
She said the objective of the dialogue was mainly to discuss a report that was produced by the ECA on the root causes of conflicts in the Sahel Region and their costs and consequences on development.
“This is a dialogue that brings together experts on the issues affecting the region, the continent and the world at large. These experts include researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, the civil society and representatives of populations that are directly affected by prevailing conflicts in the Sahel zones,” said Ms. Biha.
She said Niamey was chosen to host the meeting because it was a major confluence of conflicts affecting the region on three fronts; the North-East of Lake Chad with Boko Haram, the West with groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State; and the Northern crisis arising from the fallout of fighters in Libya.
“Through this dialogue, we hope that relevant lessons are learned so we can boost policies and strategies to resolve these conflicts,” said Ms. Biha, adding she hoped commitments by African countries to fully implement Agendas 2030 for sustainable development and 2063 take into account the need to respect issues of peace and security on the continent.
Ms. Biha also had the opportunity to meet with the country’s leadership, explaining to the media it was important for the ECA, whose mandate includes promoting the economic and social development of its member States, fostering intra-regional integration, and promoting international cooperation for Africa's development, to keep in touch with events happening on the ground on the continent.
She her working visit to Niamey was also ‘an opportunity to discuss with the government of Niger, not only the progress of our cooperation and our partnerships, but also, the work that is being carried out by the ECA Sub-Regional Office’.
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