ECA and Africa: fifty years of partnership
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
MetadataShow full item record
When ECA was founded in 1958, Africa was at a crossroads. African countries were just beginning to attain independence and there were great expectations and aspirations for the establishment of capable nation-states that would individually and collectively promote economic development and raise the living standards of their people. ECA was the first continental intergovernmental organization established to accompany its member States in this endeavour. It has been able to fulfill this mandate by conducting research and policy analysis, using its convening power to build consensus and give Africa a voice in the global arena, and providing technical assistance to help build human, institutional and infrastructural capacities. Many of the ideas advocated by ECA in its economic and social research over the past half-century have become part of mainstream thinking and have underpinned its work in key programme sectors such as agriculture, environment, gender, governance, industry, information and communications technologies, trade and transport. Fifty years on, and Africa is again at a crossroads, especially as recently restored growth in the continent is not yet sufficient to to enable the continent to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target date, and as the global economic outlook continues to be a cause for concern. Therefore, it is essential for Africa to pause and reflect on its development path, to ensure that recent progress is kept on course and even further deepened. This is why ECA has undertaken a repositioning exercise to realign its strategic orientation to new continental priorities, and has started examining Africa’s future role in the global economy.