Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says it will continue to work with partners, chief among them, the African Union Commission (AUC), in pursuit of sustainable development on the continent.
In presenting the Report of the Executive Secretary on the ECA’s activities from April 2020 to March 2021, Mr. Said Adejumobi, Director of the Strategic Planning, Oversight and Results Division, said providing leadership in knowledge-driven strategies to address key development issues in Africa was of utmost importance to the think tank.
The report highlighted ECA’s key achievements, among them its role in working with partners such as the AUC, the African Development Bank (AfDB), NEPAD and others as well as the private sector to launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); and support for Africa’s coordinated and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECA has coordinated regional action and advocacy for global support for Africa with weekly COVID-19 meetings with key stakeholders; and periodic meetings with African Finance Ministers. The advocacy efforts resulted in savings of US$5 billion under Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).
The think tank has focused on ensuring that African countries have adequate resources to respond to the deadly pandemic, with calls for an extra financial liquidity amounting to $500 billion through Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), policy support actions, better market access, more concessional resources and an extension of the DSSI to the of end 2022.
Also of importance is the Africa Knowledge Management Hub on COVID-19 and the African Medical Supplies Platform, which has seen 149 buyers engaging since its launch and 198 shipments with orders totalling $193 million global market value in the pipeline.
“The ECA is also conducting a study on poverty in relation to COVID-19,” Mr. Adejumobi told delegates attending the hybrid meeting.
Besides providing support for coordinated and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the ECA also had enhanced operational modalities for impactful delivery; was implementing UN regional reform; and promoting the digital and data revolution in Africa.
In addition to supporting the implementation of the AfCFTA in member States, the ECA has also been working with the private sector and countries on infrastructure development, innovative financing and related sub-regional interventions.
In response to the presentation, representatives of the member States lauded the ECA for the work it is doing in supporting African countries and called for more capacity development programmes by the ECA, in particular on digitalization, e-commerce and related tech issues.
The meeting is being held under the theme: Africa’s sustainable industrialization and diversification in the digital era in the context of COVID-19.
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