By Babajide Okeowo
Amb. Mohammed Arrouchi, Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has lauded the commission for its continued support to member states.
Arrouchi, in a virtual meeting, gave the commendation at the 39th Committee of Experts meeting held on the sidelines of the commission’s 53rd Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Addis Ababa on Friday.
Arrouchi, who is the outgoing chair of the Bureau of Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, lauded the commission for turning ideas into action through strengthening the capacities of member states.
He said that since elected over two years ago, he had seen the ECA’s commitment and success in providing expertise for states to implement agreed resolutions, to advance Africa’s development agenda.
“Even in the context of COVID-19, we have been able to turn challenges into opportunities, as the secretariat undertook studies toward estimating the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic in Africa, notably on the basis of fiscal space, debt profile and external debt,” he said.
Amb. Tesfaye Yilma, Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the AU Commission and ECA, said the conference was timely and critical for understanding the complex socio-economic consequences of COVID-19.
Yilma said that Africa had made robust efforts to grapple with the pandemic and to reduce its socio-economic impact.
“The current access to vaccines can be considered a good start, but by no means sufficient to make a meaningful impact.
“Africa will have to continue to work together in the spirit of Pan-African solidarity and in collaboration with global partners to improve access to vaccines and make a difference in the fights against COVID-19,” he said.
A new bureau has since been elected by the conference.
Equatorial Guinea is the new Chair of the Bureau, while Madagascar is the First Vice Presidency.
Zambia is the Second Vice Presidency and Sierra Leone took the Third Vice Presidency.
The Kingdom of Morocco was selected as Rapporteur.