Africa: ECA, AU and AfDB to Launch Regional Integration Report
Addis Ababa-- The fifth edition of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA V) has seen a complete revamp of the flagship series. According to the Information and Communication Service of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), ARIA V is being launched “for the first time as a package of knowledge products aimed at promoting the regional integration agenda to multiple audiences and stakeholders.”
“The production of ARIA V is a collaborative effort that has translated current research into products that depict Africa's move towards the 2017 target of achieving a Continental Free Trade Area in diverse and engaging ways,” says Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade Division.
ARIA V is accompanied by an EBook flip format that is downloadable on mobile applications, while the complexities of intra-African trade have been extrapolated in a full-length documentary film, commissioned by the ECA entitled, A Continent on the Move. An 8-minute version which highlights the challenges faced by traders plying borders; as well as best practices was aired for the first time at the African Union Summit this week.
“We are also providing a platform for stakeholders to engage with experts on these issues through online discussions around the publication’s key findings on http://knowledge.africa-devnet.org ; as well as on multiple ECA-led social media outlets, such as facebook and twitter under the hashtag #trade.” says Karingi.
He adds that ECA, in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) will be providing free online learning courses on regional integration in Africa to Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations, policy makers, academia and development partners. These courses, which will be available from August 15, 2012, will be moderated by experts. “We are encouraging our stakeholders to sign up for course notifications on the same platform,” he adds.
The Heads of States Summit of the African Union meeting from 9-16 July is once again tackling the theme: Boosting intra-African Trade . Removing barriers to intra-African trade has become a matter of urgency as countries seek to increase diversification and add-value to manufacturing. According to the trade Ministers present in Addis Ababa, the Continental Free Trade agenda is “no longer theoretical.”
ARIA V is published jointly by the ECA, the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank and will be launched on 16th July.