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Nigeria to host 3rd African Internet Governance Forum

eca22june14The third African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) will take place in Abuja, Nigeria from 10 to 12 July 2014. According to the Secretariat of the African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), this third AfIGF will discuss critical issues of relevance and concern to the Continent as part of a global 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10). The Forum will also make recommendations for consideration and adoption by African governments and other stake-holders.

ECA is the host of the Secretariat of the African Internet Governance Forum with the African Union Commission as a member.  ECA has been playing a leading role in the development of an Information Society in Africa, a critical component of which is enhancing Africa’s participation in the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) consultations in order to ensure that Africa’s voice is heard on these very important issues.

The Internet Governance Forum is one of the major outcomes of the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society.  The African internet governance space was very active in the lead up to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in 2005 and became even more so after the Summit.

Egypt hosted the first AfIGF from 2 to 4 October 2012 and Kenya hosted the second from 23 to 26 September 2013.

 

Contact the AfIGF Secretariat at: afigf-secretariat@uneca.org and/or visit the website: http://www.uneca.org/afigf

Common African Position on the post 2015 Development Agenda launched

cap2014Addis Ababa, 4 June, 2014 (ECA) – The Common African Position (CAP) on the Post 2015 Development agenda was launched this week Tuesday, at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the presence of Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission as well as the Sherpas of the High Level Committee on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, among other partners and invited guests.

The launch of the CAP was intended as a key step in engaging African stakeholders so as to deepen their understanding of the evolution of the negotiations and advocacy efforts. The launch was also aimed at enhancing ownership of the CAP, while strengthening and leveraging partnerships with non-African stakeholders.

The Liberian President and Chair High Level Committee (HLC), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her remarks and key message on the post 2015 via a video recording informed the meeting that “CAP reflects the aspirations of the African people.” She elaborated on its seven main strategic key messages, which include the commitment of Africa to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the specific focus on health and education as well as a sustainable development agenda and the need for peace and security.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Madame Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in her remarks emphasized the importance of making the CAP people centered, sustainable and resulting in prosperous, integrated and united Africa. “The Common African Position will be pursued regardless of the results of the negotiation out comes and advocacy of individuals in one’s own country and elsewhere is important” the Chairperson stated.

The Common African Position was presented by Mr. Anthony Maruping, Commissioner of Economic Affairs of the AUC, who stated that the overarching goals of the CAP are to eradicate poverty and ensure human development, which are anchored in six pillars that are; Structural, Economic transformation and inclusive growth, Science, Technology and Innovation, People-centered development, Environmental sustainability, Natural resources management and disaster management, Peace and Security and Finance and partnerships.

The Commissioner, invited all the stakeholders to champion and support the CAP priority areas, advocate and act in unity to ensure that Africa’s voice is heard.

For his part, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Mr. Carlos Lopes spoke on the role of multilateral organizations and other stakeholders in the implementation of the CAP and hailed the Common Position as, “a concrete step towards mainstream all the key issues at the global level but with an African perspective addressing all the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“It is important that the African Development Goals are adapted to measure progress on African priorities,” he said.

He reiterated the ECA’s continued commitment and support and called on all present to join the AUC in ensuring that Africa is able to negotiate its CAP priorities successfully and “not to dilute the principles and objectives of this agenda for the agenda of others”

“From now on, the main focus should be getting the CAP fully owned by all Africans,” he said.

Present at the launch were representatives from the Diplomatic Corps, the African Union Commission, United Nations and the European Union, as well as representatives from Civil Society Organizations.

Issued by:
ECA External Communications and Media Relations Section
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org

Seventh AU-ECA Joint Annual Meetings, 25-30 March 2014, Abuja Nigeria

The Seventh Joint AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development will be held on 25 to 30 March 2014, Abuja, Nigeria on the theme, “Industrialization for inclusive and transformative development in Africa”. The Conference will aim to provide a platform for policy makers to articulate concrete proposals to catalyze implementation of the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) and increase commitment and actions to advance Africa’s industrial development agenda. The rationale for industrialization in Africa is grounded in the fact that most African economies concentrate economic activity in the extractive and commodity-producing sectors. In turn, the capital-intensive nature of the extractive sector and the limited inter sectoral linkages between the primary sector and other sectors of the economy create limited opportunities for value chain development, value addition and job creation. Moreover, the primary sectors are characterized by low productivity and low wages which render employees vulnerable to poverty.

 

Concept Note

 

Interactive session with the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, 6 February, ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York

hlp

You are invited to an interactive session chaired by H.E. Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa and Chair of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. The session will take place on Thursday, 6 February 2014 from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM in the ECOSOC Chamber at United Nations Headquarters

The High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa was established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and inaugurated on 18 February 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The establishment of the High Level Panel follows Resolution 886 (XLIV) adopted at the 4th Joint Annual Meetings of the ECA/AU Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Africa in March 2011, which decided to address the debilitating problem of illicit financial outflows from Africa estimated at about $50 billion annually. The Panel brings together eminent personalities from within and outside Africa who share a common concern and expertise in the financial aspects of Africa’s development.  Its purpose is to garner major knowledge and policy products on illicit financial flows in Africa, which will constitute pioneering works in the domain on the continent.

Please click on the following links for more information:

ECA to host Third Annual Climate Change and Development in Africa Conference

eca10october

Addis Ababa, 10 October 2013 (ECA) – The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) will organise the Third Annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-III) at the UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 21 – 23 October, 2013. The Conference is organized each year under the auspices of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme. ClimDev-Africa is a joint programme of key African development institutions including the United Nations Economic Commission (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and African Development Bank (AfDB). The theme of this year’s Conference is: “ Africa on the run: can the opportunities from climate change spring the continent to transformative development?

The Conference will address four sub-themes that aim to share experiences and disseminate research results and assess how Africa is coping with impacts of climate change These are: Climate Science; Data and Services for Africa’s Adaptation and Mitigation; The Role of Policy in Building Africa’s Resilience to Climate Change Impacts; Green Economy and Climate Finance Opportunities in Africa; Is the Global Climate Change Framework working for Africa?

The Conference will also seek ways of strengthening Africa’s ability to seize opportunities from climate change to better prepare the continent for transformative development.

 

More: http://www.uneca.org/acpc

Addis Ababa to host Population and Development Conference

16sepecaAddis Ababa (ECA) -  The Regional Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014 will be held from 30 September – 4 October 2013 at the United Nations Conference Centre, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the conference will be “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: The future we want for Africa.” This conference seeks to emphasize the need for state and non-state actors to recommit themselves at the highest level to fully implementing the ICPD Plan of Action at national and regional levels. Preceding the Conference will be pre-events, aimed at validating an African Common Position to be included in the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report.

The outcomes of the regional report will serve as a major reference for population and development policies and programmes beyond 2014 and inform the post-2015 development agenda in Africa. This will be based on three principles: Right to development: the people of Africa have the right to develop in all spheres of life, including human rights and human development, and in peace and security; Empowering and Increasing the capacity of people to play a more strategic role in development; and Justice, equality and human dignity and rights for achieving inclusive and sustainable development. As part of the UN mandated review, the conference is an important part of the global effort to define the post 2015 development agenda.

The purpose of the conference is to review evidence of progress, challenges, gaps and emerging issues in relation to the achievement of the goals set out in ICPD agenda with the aim of making recommendations that will accelerate progress towards the goals set out in the 1994 Programme of Action.

Key inputs to this process are the report on regional findings from the ICPD Global Survey which was facilitated by ECA and completed by 52 countries in the region and the African Common Position on ICPD.

The conference will also consider the draft report of the operational review of the ICPD PoA in Africa, recommendations of the operational review, and the African common position on ICPD beyond 2014.

This conference will bring together ministers responsible for population and development matters, government experts, research and training institutions, the Pan-African Parliament, Regional Economic Communities, United Nations agencies, international organizations, civil society organizations, and the youth.

By exploring the implementation modalities and considering challenges and opportunities, the meeting is expected to come up with more effective approaches and tools for population programmes and policies.

Background
The resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 mandates an operational review of the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) on the basis of the highest-quality data and analysis of the state of population and development, taking into account the need for a systematic, comprehensive and integrated approach to population and development issues.

Consequently an operational review has been undertaken by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on the African continent in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In order to generate a holistic and in-depth assessment, questionnaires were administered and 52 African member States provided feedback. The process also included a review of country reports and country implementation profiles; relevant policy decisions; strategies and programmes that have been formulated to implement actions in line with the various themes of the PoA; the institutional frameworks and governance structures that have been put in place; and the resources that have been mobilized to implement the policies, programmes and strategies. The process thereby documented the achievements made, challenges and constraints faced, as well as the gaps identified. The review has also provided the opportunity to identify strategic priorities for population and development on the African continent. It is intended, therefore, that the outcome of the process will guide the ongoing dialogue to define the ICPD agenda post 2014, and to contribute to the development agenda post 2015 on the continent.

The final regional report of the operational review for Africa, as well as an African common position on ICPD beyond 2014 will be included in the Global Report. It is intended that the regional conference being organized for 30 September to 4 October 2013 will validate the report.

 

Jointly issued by ECA and UNFPA
More: http://www.uneca.org/icpd2014

ECA External Communications and Media Relations Section
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org
www.uneca.org

Regional Experts Meeting on International Migration and Development in Africa on 3-4 July 2013.

ECA, in collaboration with IOM, has organized a Regional Experts Meeting on International Migration and Development in Africa on 3-4 July 2013.

International Labour Organisation, African Union Commission, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) also attended the meeting.

Please click to download Outcome Statement  of Regional Experts Meeting on International Migration and Development in Africa

 

Africans need to see the benefits of the extractive sector, Report Says

africaprogressreportAddis Ababa, 28 May 2013 (ECA) – Africa’s natural resources could dramatically improve the lives of millions – but while natural resources may have fuelled a decade of rapid economic growth on the continent, most Africans have still not seen the benefits, according to this year’s Africa Progress Report presented to African leaders and policy-makers during the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

A panel session on the recently launched 2013 Africa Progress Report said African policy makers have critical choices to make: they can either invest their natural resource revenue in people to generate jobs and opportunities for millions in present and future generations. Or they can squander this opportunity, allowing jobless growth and inequality to take root.

“It is very important that this self-confidence that we are seeing emerging is going to be put to good use,” said Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). “And in order for it to be put to good use, we need very concrete rather than rhetorical questions to be addressed – and I think that is where the report becomes very timely not only because it can influence the G8 discussions, but also because it can influence the African discussions, including the shaping the agenda of 2063 which is the agenda that now the AU has put in front of us.”

He noted that Africa’s leaders have adopted the Africa Mining Vision to try and clean up the industry and that an ongoing study by the ECA on illicit financial flows out of Africa shows the need for transparency and accountability. “It is a two-way street -we have to improve across the board,” he said.

President Johnson-Sirleaf, whose country Liberia exports iron and diamonds, said the ‘resource rich vs poor human condition’ paradox has long been exemplified by her country but that this changing. “Our experience in Liberia shows that we need to go an extra mile to improve extraction process audits,” she said.

“Africa, like the rest of the world, is suffering tremendous losses from the illicit and unwarranted outflow of wealth through tax avoidance, shell companies, tax havens, transfer pricing and others, that in a way leads them to avoid their fair share of taxes,” said Johnson-Sirleaf.

“This report shows very clearly that such outflows exceed the total amount of development assistance which the African continent receives ever year. This problem can only be resolved if all nations can work together, and the ball is in the court of our partners to close tax loopholes in the extractive sector,” she said.

International tax avoidance and evasion, corruption, and weak governance represent major challenges. The report therefore welcomes the commitment from the current G8 presidency, the United Kingdom, and other governments to put tax and transparency at the heart of this year’s dialogue. International tax avoidance and evasion, corruption, and weak governance represent major challenges. The report therefore welcomes the commitment from the current G8 presidency, the United Kingdom, and other governments to put tax and transparency at the heart of this year’s dialogue.

“This year we’ve seen enormous impact, and enormous interest from a wide range of people, it’s incredible,” says Caroline Kende-Robb, the Africa Progress Panel’s Executive Director. “But I think it’s because it’s a global issue, and people care: people care that resources are not being made use of to the best that they should be; they care that in Africa, human development outcomes should be much better, considering the amount of wealth that’s in Africa. And it can be done; many African countries are making good use of the wealth from natural resources. But this issue of tax avoidance, tax evasion, it affects people in Africa but it affects people in Europe and it affects people in the United States, so we see almost a global movement linked to the issues that we’ve raised in this report this year.”

According to estimates, Africa holds 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, and its economies are growing faster than any other region of the world except for East Asia – growth in Sub-Saharan Africa has remained robust at over 5% per year for the past ten years.

But the report also suggests that Africa needs to better manage its vast natural resource wealth to improve the lives of the region’s people by setting out bold national agendas for strengthening transparency and accountability.

Civil Society representative, Yao Graham from the Third World Network said Africa should focus on adding value to its commodities as it would be more beneficial. “Adding value reduces resource intensification, which is less burdensome on the environment and communities living in mining regions. He also said that public institutions in charge of regulations need to reverse their tardy responses to the community complaints resulting from mining. Managing impact could also help to change perceptions.

Some oil companies are also increasingly aiming to adhere to industry “best practice” standards, which include mitigating the environmental impact of their activity and investing in social projects to improve living standards in areas where they operate.

The session panelists included Executive Director of the Africa Progress Panel, Caroline Kende-Robb, the head of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Carlos Lopes, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the head of Third World Network-Africa, Yao Graham.

Note to editors:
Chaired by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the ten-member Africa Progress Panel advocates at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. The Panel releases its flagship publication, the Africa Progress Report, every year in May.

 

Issued by:
ECA External Communications and Media Relations Section
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org
www.uneca.org

African Union Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of the Economic Commission for Africa

ECA Session 2013

 

 

 Please click here for all information regarding the upcoming ECA event.

 

Heads of ECA, AUC and AfDB reaffirm commitment to Africa’s socio-economic transformation

 Heads of ECA, AUC and AfDB reaffirm commitment to Africa’s socio-economic transformation Addis Ababa, 14 January 2013 (ECA) – The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Carlos Lopes, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on January 11 and 12, 2013 to discuss the challenges, opportunities and priorities facing Africa over the next 50 years, and how best to coordinate efforts in supporting the continent’s socio-economic transformation.  The meeting concluded with a joint communiqué that seeks to strengthen their commitment to support the vision of Africa’s leaders to transform the continent over the next 50 years.

The meeting took place against the background of ongoing preparations towards the May 2012 commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Organization for African Unity – now transformed into the African Union. Through their respective comparative advantage and their distinct roles and responsibilities, the tripartite partnership reaffirmed their commitment to support the vision of Africa’s leaders “to transform the continent over the next 50 years and collaborate closely with Regional Economic Communities and other partners to foster the agenda of an integrated and prosperous continent,” according to the communiqué.

They stated the need to reaffirm the spirit of Pan Africanism and African solidarity that inspired the political evolution of the continent in the last 50 years, which they underscored as “now critical for realizing Africa’s socio-economic transformation.”

The meeting noted that key challenges, opportunities and priorities face Africa; and that much progress has been made in several areas, including peace and security, good governance, economic growth, regional integration and attracting investments.

While acknowledging the progress made, they stressed that Africa’s economic growth needs to focus on equity, inclusiveness, the preservation of natural capital and creation of decent jobs, especially for the youth and women.

Furthermore, despite the continent’s resilience in the face of the recent global financial and economic crises, further action with all relevant stakeholders to enhance Africa’s economic independence, reduce vulnerability and diversify its relations within the global economy was needed.

“We firmly believe the time is ripe for a paradigm shift and a change in mindset towards realizing the vision of a continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful, and a dynamic force in the global arena,” states the communiqué.

They emphasized that Africa’s challenge is economic transformation, “whose agenda should be led by Africans.” Towards this objective, the three heads committed to “explore all avenues for mobilizing sources of finance, including tapping into Africa’s own resources and global financial opportunities.”

While acknowledging that external partners have contributed to Africa’s progress through instruments such as the African Development Fund (ADF) and to which they will remain committed, the three heads agreed to actively explore Africa’s participation in these financial mechanisms.

They concluded with an agreement “to engage with Africa’s leaders and peoples in articulating and preparing such an African led transformation agenda for the next 50 years.” In this regard, the three institutions will pursue the issue further in the upcoming African Union meetings and through consultations with Regional Economic Communities, Partners and other stakeholders with a view “to realize the vision of the African Renaissance.”

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