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					Economic Commission for Africa: Opportunities for consultancy

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was established by the Economic and
Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN's five
regional commissions. ECA's 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. ECA's dual role as a regional arm
of the UN, and a part of the regional institutional landscape in Africa, positions it well
to make unique contributions to member States' efforts to address their 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.

This is particularly important because the perspectives of AU and NEPAD are also
primarily regional and sub regional. This comparative advantage is also reflected in
ECA’s leadership role in coordinating UN inter- agency support to NEPAD. In 2006
ECA refocused its programme priorities while maintaining its analytical and
knowledge-sharing capacity across the full range of development themes. The
Commission has now focused its operations on a more limited set of sectors and
areas where its competence and contributions and comparative advantage are
widely acknowledged. In this context, ECA will strive to achieve results in two related
and mutually supportive areas:

·       Promoting regional integration in support of the AU vision and priorities. ECA
support to the implementation of AUC regional integration agenda focuses on
undertaking research and policy analysis on the issues. It also seeks to strengthen
capacity and provide technical assistance to institutions driving the regional
integration agenda, including RECs, and working on a range of trans-boundary
initiatives and activities in sectors vital to the regional integration agenda;
·       Meeting Africa's special needs and emerging global challenges. ECA
recognizes the importance of focusing attention on Africa's special needs, particularly
within the context of achieving the MDGs. In this regard, ECA places emphasis on
supporting efforts to eradicate poverty, placing African countries on the path of
growth and sustainable development, reversing the marginalization of Africa in the
globalization process, and accelerating the empowerment of women.

As a critical part of its efforts in these two areas, ECA seeks to enhance its support to
the APRM and promote peer learning, to encourage sharing of good practices in a
wide range of development areas. The strategic focus of ECA work on these two
pillars is matched by a clear articulation of results and outcomes and by
establishment of outputs that can be measured and monitored. All of this is aimed at
improving capacity development in Africa aimed at achieving sustainable and
integrated growth and development. The development outcomes that are expected to
emerge from ECA work include:

·     Increased regional integration and integration into the global economy;
·     Accelerated progress toward achieving the MDGs, including poverty reduction,
sustainable development and gender equity;
·     Improved macroeconomic policies, political and economic governance;
·     Enhanced development of ICT and participation in the knowledge economy;
·     Improved statistical capacity of member states to enable planning for achieving
the MDGs and for monitoring progress; and
·     Strengthened and better-networked institutions and centers of excellence.
Some of the outcomes are in crosscutting areas, such as more gender-sensitive
structures, improved governance, appreciable post-conflict development, and a more
human rights-based approach to development. ECA’s work will contribute to support
these results in the entirety of its work programme. Results in all areas will be
underpinned by emphasis on knowledge management, quality and strengthening of
the relevant capacity of member states, RECs and other regional institutions.

ECA places special emphasis on implementing the Action Plan for its Sub-Regional
Officers (SROs). The SROs are the natural interface between headquarters, member
States and RECs. ECA has since embarked on developing a markedly stronger
subregional presence by empowering SROs to play an enhanced role in the delivery
of the Commission’s work programme. Informed by the priorities and concerns of
member states and RECs, the SROs will, in particular:

·    Lead in shaping ECA’s agenda and implementation at the subregional level;
·    Promote and support specific subregional priorities and programs; and
·    Operate subregional nodes for knowledge management and networking.

 The Commission is seeking to place on its central roster experienced professionals
who are interested in being engaged periodically as consultants in the several
thematic areas of economic and social development work mentioned above and for
which you will find links to relevant terms of reference (TORs) below. Persons found
to meet the requirements indicated in the TORs will be advised accordingly and their
names placed in the central roster, after verification of their academic and
professional credentials. On completion of the screening process, those retained for
the roster will be advised accordingly. They will subsequently be contacted to
undertake consultancy assignments when the need arises. The duration of such
assignments ranges from one to six months.

Closing date: 1 Feb 2008

For detailed information and the application form, please send an e-mail to or visit