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Economic Commission for Africa launches Poverty Clock

  19 Décembre      7       


Accra, Dec. 19, GNA – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched the Africa Poverty Clock, which is a customised version of the World Poverty Clock developed by World Data Lab, aimed at monitoring progress against extreme poverty.

The World Poverty Clock is an aspiration of the United Nations’ first Sustainable Development Goal – SDG1. The Clock provides real-time poverty estimates till 2030 for the majority of countries around the world.

Ms Vera Songwe, the ECA Executive Secretary, during the launch which was part of activities to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of ECA, said many African countries had achieved remarkable progress over the last six decades.

« We have seen African economies labelled as some of the fastest growing in the world.

« Africa today is an Africa that has risen and one whose economic autonomy is underway, moving from political independence to economic independence, » she stated in a paper obtained by the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Wednesday.

She, however, indicated that African countries rank as some of the worst economic and social indicators.

Ms Songwe noted that inequality and poverty remain persistently high, with more than 400 million people living in extreme poverty adding; « The achievement of prosperity remains elusive and there is a demand to do better.

« Africa is home to 70 per cent of the world’s most poor people and current projections show that all countries of the region are off track to achieving the SDG of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030, » she said.

« There is a need for bigger and bolder actions to accelerate the pace of sustainable economic growth and development. We need better insights, knowledge and innovative partnerships ».

Ms Songwe used the occasion to congratulate staff, past and present for their contributions towards the progress of ECA.

« We must continue to listen and engage with member States and other key stakeholders, including the private sector, academic institutions and civil society organisations to ensure that ECA’s activities respond to the new and emerging challenges of the Continent and the aspirations of Africans, » she said.

An estimated 40 million jobs would need to be created every month by 2020 to absorb the number of young people entering the workforce, Ms Songwe said.

Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Demeke Mekonen, congratulated the ECA for its contributions to the Continent’s development.

« The ECA has been the most important and effective institution in developing our knowledge across a range of issues relevant to Africa’s development, » he said.

He emphasised ECA’s support to the process towards realizing the Continental Free Trade Area, the role it has played in Africa’s transformation agenda and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063.

« It is an anniversary that underlines the effective solidarity and real cooperation of the ECA and Africa, » he said and added that the commemoration was taking place at an exciting time of change and reform in the country as well as the peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Mr Achim Steiner, the UNDP Administrator, congratulated the ECA for its role in promoting economic and social development of Africa and fostering regional integration since its founding.

Mr Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, provided a historical overview of the ECA and the importance of its founding at a time when many African countries had not gained independence.

To mark the 60th Anniversary, a series of events took place in the ECA Sub-regional offices as well as in Addis Ababa.

Dignitaries who participated were Ambassador Elsadig Omer Abdalla, the Deputy Head of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, Republic of Sudan, members of the Diplomatic Corps and key representatives from partner institutions including Think Tanks, Civil Society Organisations, university and high school students and the private sector.

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