The Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Abdoulie Janneh, has described as “most timely” the planned debate on the union government in Africa during the African Union (AU) summit in Accra, Ghana, 1-3 July 2007.
He told the session of the AU’s Executive Council (foreign ministers) meeting in the Ghanaian capital late Thursday the debate was coming at a period of great international engagement about Africa and that it coincided with the time the continent was experiencing the best period of economic growth for a generation.
Janneh said the overall economic performance of Africa continued to improve strongly with a 5.7 percent growth rate in 2006.
“The 2007 Economic Report for Africa, which is published jointly by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission, indicates that growth in the continent is expected to remain high over the next two years,” he said.
The ECA boss said the debate on an African Union Government, the sole agenda for the 9th ordinary summit of the AU in Accra, was “very important and opportune and will enable African leaders to share their vision for the future development of Africa”.
He pledged the continued support of the ECA to Africa’s integration efforts, adding: “The United Nations is well positioned to continue its support for Africa’s regional integration agenda, especially in the context of the UN-AU Framework for the Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme for the African Union.”
Janneh also promised that the 50th anniversary of the ECA in 2008 would be used to determine how best the commission could continue to “centre- stage Africa’s development agenda”.