Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanism for Eastern and Southern Africa Commit to Support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Industrialization in the two regions- Eastern and Southern Africa

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The 2019 Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting on the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for Eastern and Southern Africa adopt outcome statement to take measures to reposition themselves in the realisation of both Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.

Established in November 2010, as a subsidiary of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM), the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanisms (SRCMs) are a framework for the United Nations (UN) System-wide Support to the African Union (AU), its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Programme, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs).

The meeting was convened by the United Nations Economic Commission, Sub-Regional Offices for Eastern and Southern Africa (SRO-EA/SA) under the theme “Promoting Industrialisation through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): The Role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) in Eastern and Southern Africa”.

The Director for ECA-Southern Africa Office, Said Adejomubi welcomed the participants on behalf of the entire UN family. He informed the meeting that, “working together in  a collaborative way is not a choice but a necessity for UN agencies, RECs and IGOs”. African’s challenges of development – poverty, inequality and growing youth unemployment demand that all partners join forces in putting Southern and Eastern Regions on the path of sustainable growth and development. “The SRCM for Eastern and Southern Africa offers that unique opportunity to get that done”. He added

The meeting brought together over 40 delegates from stakeholder organisations/institutions of the SRCM for Eastern and Southern Africa including the African Union (AU), RECs, IGOs and UN agencies for in the two sub-regions.

The first session focused on the intra-UN collaboration through SRCM was chaired by Mr. Charles Kwenin, Acting Chair of United Nations sustainable Development Goals(R-UNSDG) for Eastern and Southern Africa. Mr. Kwenin applauded the UN agencies commitment to move the agenda. The UN family agreed the need to work collaboratively to support the implementation of AfCFTA and industrialisation initiatives through optimising synergies within the UN.

The second session was a meeting of SRCM Focal points of AUC, RECs and IGOs to map-out strategies to foster effective collaboration and coordination under the SRCM framework. In his keynote presentation, H.E. Amb. Kipyego Cheluget applauded ECA, as Secretariat, all UN agencies, RECs and IGOs for, “effectively playing their roles of sustaining the SRCM process since its establishment by regularly convening stakeholder meeting and for continuously following up on recommendations”. He underscored that the Regional Coordination Mecanism-Africa and its Sub-Regional Coordination Mecanisms, have become key frameworks for the UN family to work together in supporting the priorities of the AU and its organs, RECs and other IGOs on the continent.

At the end of the two-day consultations, the meeting adopted a draft outcome document with the major recommendation being “ to stengthen the collective action of different UN Agencies so as to strengthen support to AUC and its organs, member States, RECs and IGOs towards achieving Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063”.

The meeting is also expected to contribute to enhanced knowledge on the AfCFTA, including gender and the AfCFTA, and its role in promoting regional industrialisation. It was concluded that support provided to RECS, IGOs and member States by the UN should include programmes and initiatives targeted at addressing migration, gender, human rights and skills.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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