ECA’s reform gets a shot in the arm

Date: 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:30

Addis Ababa | ECA

The Governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom signed a Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) this week in support of the Economic Commission’s 2014-2015 programme of work.

According to the agreement, the funding partners will provide $US $10.9 million for the year 2014, in support of ECA’s activities in the following thematic areas: macroeconomic policy, regional integration and trade, statistics, social development, and gender.

Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the ECA, thanked the partners for the expression of support to the reform efforts of the Commission, which among other key areas, include reducing its publications and focusing on better quality outputs.

“The support is a strong indicator of the continued trust from our partners,” he said, and added that in recognition of the ECA’s role in setting the development agenda in Africa, the European Union has recently requested the ECA to be part of the group that will be monitoring the outcomes of the Brussels-Africa agreements.

“In addition, the United States Government has called on the ECA to assist with the preparations for the August US-Africa Leaders Summit organized by President Barack Obama,” he said. The Summit aims to build on the progress made since President Obama’s Africa tour in 2013, and advance the administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, among others.

He added that these new partnerships coupled with the signing of the JFA are a testimony to the trust bestowed on the Commission in advancing Africa’s structural transformation.

The JFA is a multi-partner framework aimed at harmonizing donor support by coordinating efforts, simplifying procedures and sharing information. It is also a framework that lays the foundation for the highest degree of alignment with the budgetary and accountability system of ECA so as to enhance effective implementation and thereby, reduce the administrative burden on the ECA and minimise transaction costs.

The arrangement continues to support the Commission to deepen its work in support of Africa’s development priorities. The signing comes on the heels of a positively-received recent presentation on the ECA Strategic Framework at the UN Headquarters. The Framework aims to guide the Commission's 2016-2017 biennial programme budget.

Speaking in her capacity as co-chair of the JFA, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ms. Tove Stub congratulated the ECA for its role in advancing the African agenda. “We look forward to continued cooperation - this is just the start,” she said.

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