United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

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ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its 54 member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. In order to fulfil its mandate, ECA collects up to date and original regional statistics to ground its policy research and advocacy on clear objective evidence; promotes policy consensus; and provides meaningful capacity development, as well as advisory services in key thematic fields. ECA’s thematic areas of focus are macroeconomic policy, regional integration and trade, social development, natural resources, innovation and technology, gender and governance. 

As part of its restructuring in 2012, ECA established the Green Economy and Natural Resources Section (GENRS) within its Special Initiatives Division. The main objective of GENRS is to contribute to the body of knowledge and enhance understanding on the implications of the green economy paradigm for Africa’s transformation. The intent is to inform the formulation and implementation of policies to achieve a green transformation and realize optimal benefits from Africa’s key natural resources and related sectors. Interventions are aimed at developing a solid foundation to inform the development and implementation of green economy policies, strategies and programmes in order to realize transformational objectives. 

The section’s initial areas of focus are: examining the implications of the transition to a green economy in the context of Africa’s transformation agenda; investigating green economy as a tool to realizing a new social contract in Africa; assessing planning tools and methodologies to support integrated assessments for inclusive green growth/economy policies; and green economy as an instrument to harness Africa’s natural resources for its transformation and sustainable development. 

The restructuring exercise has also created a number of supporting structures to achieve its goals. Notable among these is the Public Information and Knowledge Management Division, which constitutes four interrelated sections. One of these sections is the Knowledge and Library Services Section that was established to put in place a stronger Knowledge facilitation process at UNECA, to also benefit its member States. 

As part of its delivery strategy, GENRS intends to feed the knowledge generated from its research activities into existing knowledge networks and platforms. The aim is to build a critical mass of informed green growth/economy experts and practitioners from government, the private sector, academia, research institutions and civil society at large; and foster cooperation and collaboration among Africa’s development partners and agencies on green growth/green economy issues.  The intent is to broaden and deepen participation in an effective and cost efficient manner, discuss new and emerging issues and generate new knowledge on inclusive green growth/green economy.