The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) celebrated sixty years of presence in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UNECA came into existence with the intent to help African nations develop relevant development policies and strategies in various sectors of the economy.
At the sixtieth anniversary commemoration ceremony held on Monday, Executive Secretary of UNECA Vera Songwe remarked, "Prosperous Africa is within reach within our lifetime."
Highlighting the notability of UNECA's achievements in various streams including trade policy, the Executive Secretary added, "Africa coming together to trade is a clear determination of Africa’s economic independence... To achieve the dream of prosperous Africa; we have the ideas, we have the resources. We must engage with institutions in Africa."
Achim Steiner, the United Nations Development Program Administrator and Vice-chairman of the UN Sustainable Development Group, remarked, "With its mineral wealth, youthful population and largely unexploited natural resources – the next frontier of development is certainly on this continent because in spite of opportunities, challenges abound."
The UNECA has been established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN in 1958 with a mandate "to promote the economic and social development of its member states, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development." Macroeconomic policy, regional integration and trade, and innovation and technology are a few among the thematic areas of focus of the UNECA, which is made up of 54 member states.
Sources: CNBC Africa, New Ethiopian Business, UNECA Website