The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is one of five UN regional commissions. It is composed of the fifty-four Member States of the United Nations that lie within the continent of Africa or in oceans nearby the continent, and its mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its Member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

The ECA was established in 1958 by the UN Economic and Social Council. It serves as the regional arm of the United Nations as well as a key component of the African institutional landscape, thus making unique contributions to address the region’s development challenges. Its strength derives from its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub-regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa’s priorities.

The ECA’s mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa. Its five strategic directions are:

  • Advancing the ECA’s position as a knowledge institution to bring global solution’s to Africa’s problems and to bring locally applicable solutions to Africa
  • Developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation
  • Designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure and for human, physical, and social assets for a transforming Africa
  • Contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus
  • Advocating Africa’s position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.

The ECA’s mission also includes contributing to Agenda 2063, the African Union’s strategic master plan, aiming for bringing Africa into the future, including the goal of inclusive and sustainable development by 2063. Agenda 2063 is an expression of the pan-African vision of “an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.