Subject: ECA Press Release: CODA to study financing of regional integration in Africa
CODA to study financing of regional integration in Africa
ECA Press Release No. 40/2010
Abidjan 26 May 2010 (ECA) - The Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), convened a policy forum on "Financing Regional Integration in Africa"on 25th May, Africa Day, as a side event of the 2010 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.
The forum discussions focused on issues related to the financing requirements for enhancing regional integration in Africa, including regional infrastructure development, and the possibilities of establishing a new regional integration fund to drive this agenda forward. Participants included the Chair of the CoDA Board, President Festus Mogae, as well as the majority of the CoDA Board, members of the private sector and civil society, and, experts on regional integration from the African Union Commission (AUC) the AfDB and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The forum concluded with agreement that CoDA would seek to take this process forward by commissioning a detailed and comprehensive study on how the financing of regional integration could, and should, be up-scaled, in particular, through the use of innovative and wide-ranging modalities.
Advocacy to promote regional integration is one of CoDA's priority areas of focus. In that context, the CoDA Chair and Board members also participated in the official launch in Abidjan, on 24th May, of the 4th edition of "Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA IV)", a biannual report jointly prepared by ECA, AUC and AfDB. According to the latest report, entitled "Enhancing intra-African trade", over 80 percent of Africa's total exports are still destined for Europe, Asia and America while a comparable percentage of the continent's imports are obtained from the same markets. ARIA IV concludes that a focus on regional integration is critical to accelerate the transformation of fragmented economies to expand markets and widen economic space.
During the working sessions of the CoDA Board, which were also held in Abidjan, the Board adopted a resolution approving a Statute for the initiative, which transforms it into a fully independent entity, that will be supported by the private sector and civil society, as well as the AUC, AfDB, and ECA. It was announced that the search process for a full time Executive Director to head the new organization would begin shortly with the advertisement of the vacancy announcement for the position.
President Mogae also informed a press conference on Tuesday evening that the Board had agreed a programme of work for the rest of 2010. This, he said, included advocacy activities on climate change in collaboration with the AUC, AfDB and ECA (which are jointly convening the 7th African Development Forum on this theme in October 2010), advocacy on the threat of transnational crime to political stability in Africa, and the organization of a side event at the forthcoming African Union Summit in Kampala in July, 2010, highlighting the regional integration issues featured in ARIA.
The next CoDA meeting of the CoDA Board will be convened in November 2010 in Mauritius.
Background: The Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) is a new, independent, international, African-owned forum that identifies and discusses issues of importance to Africa's development within a global context. It is a think tank that advocates for the continent, brings together a range of stakeholders to promote dialogue and provides a platform for African voices to be heard. It is policy-oriented, and works in collaboration with other African and international organizations addressing issues of Africa's security, peace, governance and development. CoDA is sponsored by, but is not a program of, the African Union Commission, the UN Economic Commission for Africa or the African Development Bank. It is governed by a Board of eminent African and non-African personalities and receives support from the private sector.
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