ECA Eastern Africa office bills experts’ meeting for April 27 in Victoria, Seychelles


ECA Press Release No. 19/2009

Kigali, Rwanda 16 April 2009  (ECA) - The UN ECA Subregional Office for Eastern Africa (SRO-EA) will hold its 13th Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) meeting from 27 to 29 April 2009 in Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles. The theme of the meeting will be “Tracking Progress in Implementing ICTs for Development in Eastern Africa” and it will bring together experts from the Subregional Office, Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other ECA partner institutions within the subregion.

The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) is a steering organ mandated by the ECA Council of Ministers to supervise the activities of subregional offices, including that of Eastern Africa. It meets every year to consider developments in the eastern Africa subregion, especially with respect to integration. It also reviews the report on activities of the SRO-EA; establishes medium-term plans of action and programmes of work; assesses strategic policy orientations within the Subregion and examines any other important continental and global issues.

The Committee is also a forum for exchange of views among experts from SRO-EA member countries (Burundi, Comoros, DR Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda), regional economic communities and Intergovernmental Organizations (COMESA, EAC, IGAD, IOC, CEPGL and ICGLR) and researchers on economic and social conditions of the Subregion for defining modalities of cooperation and formulating recommendations for the integration and development of countries in the Subregion.

The meeting in Seychelles will be organized in four parts: (i) ICE Meeting as a statutory organ of the ECA; (ii) an Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on ICT and Economic Development; (iii) an Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Multi-Year Programmes; and two training sessions on: the implementation of ICT in the areas of e-government and/or e-trade and on Developing Strategies and Comprehensive Action Plan for National Information and Communication Infrastructures.

In this respect, the meeting will focus on the following four major objectives:

  1. Assess economic and social conditions of the Eastern Africa subregion during the last years and recommend appropriate policies to undertake in order to mitigate the impact of the crisis and maintain a sustainable economic growth for the coming years, so as to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs. Experts will assess progress made by member countries in areas of economic growth, sustainable development, intra-regional trade, and the role the RECs could play in fostering regional integration.

  2. Exchange views on the theme of the forthcoming ECA Conference of Finance Ministers on “Enhancing Domestic Resources Mobilization through Fiscal Policy”. The ICE meeting may wish to recommend appropriate strategies for Eastern African countries on how to raise domestic savings. Experts will also assess the current situation of fiscal policies in Eastern Africa and share experiences on various tools implemented. 

  3. Upon the submission of the report of the Ad-Hoc Expert Group Meeting on: Tracking Progress towards the Development of ICTs in Eastern African subregion and Prospects, the ICE will make recommendations on appropriate policies towards building a regional information and knowledge economy where ICTs can play a catalytic role for economic growth and sustainable development.  To make a concrete contribution to the ICE participants, SRO-EA will offer two parallel training sessions respectively on: (i) the implementation of ICT in the areas of e-government and/or e-trade, and (ii) developing Strategies and Comprehensive Action Plan for National Information and Communication Infrastructures (NICI).

  4. On the basis of the report of the Ad-hoc Expert Group Meeting on Assessing Multi-Year Programmes ‘MYPs’) and the presentations by individual RECs, the ICE meeting will make recommendations on the way forward towards the implementation of Multi-Year Programmes of cooperation between ECA-SRO/EA and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the Eastern Africa subregion. 

The expected outcomes of the meeting include:

  • Contribution to the development of appropriate policies to address current economic challenges, including innovative mechanisms of mobilizing both international and domestic resources for investment and accelerating regional integration;
  • Formulation of recommendations for building a regional information and knowledge economy and the respective roles of national, regional and international institutions;
  • Formulation of recommendations on how to successfully implement Multi-Year programmes to strengthening RECs as building blocs of regional integration processes.

The last ICE meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008.


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