France, UN ECA Collaborate to Examine Africa’s Current Challenges

ADDIS ABEBA – Franch Development Agency and Addis Abeba-based UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have agreed to work more closely together on looking into major challenges of Africa.

CEO of French Development Agency or AFD, Rémy Rioux, and Executive Secretary of ECA, Vera Songwe, signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the two institutions on Friday. 

With the agreement, the pair “confirmed their wish to work more closely together on research areas related to Africa and some of its key challenges, including gender, migration and climate change”, said the two institutions said in a joint statement.

The two institutions have, as part of the collaboration, conducted a joint study on the involvement of the private sector in the provision of climate and weather services in Africa.  

AFD and ECA, through its African Climate Policy Center, also signed a research partnership agreement in November 2019, worth 80 000 Euro, for a period of one year.

“With today’s MoU, the two institutions have agreed to add gender and migration as key priority areas to conduct research on,” the statement reads.

Rémy Rioux, CEO of AFD said the UN agency “a unique partner for reflection” on Africa at the continental level. 

“It is also the way AFD wants to consider Africa, as a whole, diverse continent constantly inventing itself,” he said.

Executive Secretary of ECA Songwe welcomed the collaboration, saying,” the ECA’s focus is getting research ideas implemented to build a prosperous Africa that is consistent with the SDGs and Agenda 2063.” 

“An Africa able to confront major challenges, including climate change, gender and job creation,” she said

In addition to the signing of the agreement, Rioux and Songwe participated in an engaging book talk event themed, ‘Reconciliations’. 

Hosted by the ECA, the discussion focused on Rioux’s new publication, which proposes reconciliation as a conceptual approach for collective action. 

This approach is essential for tackling major development challenges. Present at the event were representatives from the Addis Ababa Diplomatic Corps, UN agencies and the African Union Commission, according to the author.

[Photo UNECA]