Yaounde (National Times)-The Executive Secretary of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Vera Songwe begins a two days working visit to Cameroon spanning April 17th to 19th.
According to information from ECA in relation to the visit, Songwe intends to strengthen ties between Cameroon her institution. The areas of focus include supporting inclusive and sustainable development, economic diversification, structural transformation, economic transformation, the digital economy and as well as trade and regional integration moves.
While in Cameroon, the ECA scribe will hold high level talks with Cameroonian authorities. Songwe will deliver a lecture at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) on Regional Integration and the Digital economy.
The ECA boss will also meet with policy makers to share information and step up awareness on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The trade area is expected to go operational anytime soon given that some 22 countries on the continent have already ratified the treaty.
A statement from the ECA’s communication unit posits that, “the stakes are high for the country (Cameroon) to take a slice out of the 300 thousand direct and more than 2 million indirect jobs which the AfCFTA is expected to engender in the short term”.
Cameroon intends to become an emerging economy by the year 2035. Thus the ECA’S advice on development policy is expected to sharpen the country’s drive towards achieving that goal in the next 20 years.
At the 52nd session of ECA staged in Morocco last March, the ECA scribe averred that, Africa can raise US $ 680 billion annually to deliver on sustainable Development goals (SDGs) of the UN.
While in Cameroon, the ECA leader will also meet with the UN Cameroon country team. Exchanges here will touch on the 2017 reforms which the UN secretary General initiated to enable actions meet with contemporary global challenges.
Dr. Vera Songwe, a Cameroonian by nationality assumed the headship of ECA in August 2017. It is her first visit to her homeland in the capacity of ECA’s executive secretary.