The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was invited to make a presentation themed, "Economic integration and prospects in Africa" during a regional meeting of Finnish ambassadors in sub-Saharan Africa and other officials working on African issues.
Deputy Executive Secretary for knowledge Delivery, Giovanie Biha said in her remarks that "as a thought leader on economic integration, ECA can play a major role in making Africa's development and transformation a reality." She also called on international partners to join ECA in advocating for Africa's priorities and building the Continent's capacity to engage with the global economy.
David Luke, Coordinator of the ECA's African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) underscored the importance of regional integration as a continental priority, stating, it is well-evidenced that intra-Africa trade has great potential to deliver structural transformation. Touching on the ongoing Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations to be concluded in 2017, he said it is expected to give Africa's integration project a significant boost.
ATPC is involved in various activities supporting the CFTA process, but further technical assistance and capacity development for policy makers in Africa will be required for an effective and inclusive implementation of trade liberalization in Africa.
Present at the event were the Danish Ambassador for Ethiopia, Mette Thygesen, and the Deputy Head of Mission for Norway, Mariann Murvoll.