Draft Annotated Agenda - Committee of Experts

Wednesday, 2 May 2001

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Opening of the Meeting (Agenda Item 1)

The official opening of the Twentieth Meeting of the Technical Committee of the Whole and the Ninth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will take place in Algiers, Algeria from 2-7 May 2001, at 9:30 am. Mr. Abdelkrim Lakhal, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Finance, Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria will officially open the meeting. Mr. K.Y. Amoako, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), will make an opening statement.

10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Plenary Session I:Enhancing High-Quality Governments: Peace, Security and Good Governance (Agenda Item 2)

There is now a strong international consensus that the quality of government is critical for poverty reduction. High quality governments are better able to design and implement effective poverty reduction programmes because they will not be impeded by two symptoms of poor government corruption and conflict. Furthermore, high quality governments are accountable to their people and thus have a vested interest in reducing poverty. Such governments apply rules and policies predictably and transparently, manage their finances soundly, provide security for all, respect the rule of law, and minimise local and international conflicts. This session will explore measures that can be taken to improve the capabilities of the state. This session will focus on the challenges faced by African governments striving to improve governance including strengthening democratic institutions, strengthening systems of sound economic management, and establishing and consolidating mechanisms for effective prevention of conflict and peace building.

Mr. Hakim Hammouda (CODESRIA) will moderate the session and Prof. Abdalla Bujra, and Mr. Swithin Munyantwali (International Law Institute) will lead the discussions.

2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Plenary Session II:Tackling Diseases that Deepen Poverty: Fighting HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB (Agenda Item 3)

HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis are having devastating effects in Africa. These diseases deepen poverty because poor people have lower prospects for access to medical care and poverty significantly increases exposure to the diseases. Poverty and income inequality is likely to increase, because these diseases create a vicious cycle. For instance HIV/AIDs has the potential to reduce economic growth, which leads to increased poverty, which in turn facilitates the rapid spread of the disease as the household’s food supplies and health declines, thereby reducing resistance to opportunistic infections. This session will look at recent developments in treatment for HIV/AIDS, efforts to scale up interventions in Malaria and Tuberculosis, the policy and institutional reforms/measures that are required in order to have efficient service delivery systems and the resources freed up for health by the enhanced HIPC initiative.

The session will be moderated by Ms. Lalla Ben Barka, Deputy Executive Secretary of the ECA and the discussions will be led by Dr. Dynah Tenkorang (Harvard) and a representative from UNAIDS.


Thursday, 3 May 2001

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Plenary Session III:Bridging the Digital Divide (Agenda Item 4)

A digital divide has emerged among and within countries in terms of access to and use of ICT, including Internet and broad band communication. African countries have recognised that ICT will be a fundamental hallmark of economic and social development in the 21st century and several have started putting together national information and communications strategies and plans. However, most of the countries have yet to make the requisite changes in policy, education, business climate and regulatory environment to become effective players in the ICT revolution. This calls for urgent actions and national strategies supported by strong political will to remove the institutional and regulatory impediments that prevent the development of an effective ICT sector as well as private sector leadership, especially investment.

The session will examine progress in the development of the ICT industry in Africa; the obstacles to the development of a dynamic ICT industry in Africa; and the measures that need to be undertaken as well as the roles of the various actors.

Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of DISD will moderate the session and the discussions will be led by Prof. Dzidonu (INIIT) and M. Mactar Seck (Conseil Superiuer de l’industrie du Senegal).

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Plenary Session IV:Accelerating Regional Integration for Infrastructure Development (Agenda Item 5)

A key factor that has constrained Africa’s integration into the global economy is the continent’s small markets, which do not permit the economies of scale that allow an economy to be competitive. Regional integration is one way to help these countries diversify their economies and reverse de-industrialization and marginalisation. In this regard, regional integration will require broadening the areas of integration beyond macroeconomic policy co-ordination, trade liberalisation and a common external tariff. In particular, emphasis must be placed on co-operation in investment in infrastructure (road, rail, airports, seaports and communications). The session will review progress in implementing regional co-operation and integration programmes in the context of infrastructure development. Identify the key factors that have contributed to the slow progress in establishing fully integrated economic blocks in Africa, and make recommendations.

Prof. Lyakurwa (AERC) will moderate the session and Prof. Cherif Salif Sy, Technical advisor of the President of Senegal, Mr. Demba Ba (World Bank) and Mr. Bernhard Liese (World Bank) will lead the discussions.

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Plenary Session V: External Debt Issues for Highly Indebted Middle Income and Poor Countries (Agenda Item 6)

HIPC II has been designed to provide "faster, and broader debt relief" with creditors encouraged to provide the maximum front-loading of debt service in the early years thereby releasing more resources for spending on poverty reduction. Nineteen African countries have now reached decision points under the enhanced HIPC initiative. However there are concerns that African countries may face high and unsustainable liquidity burdens even after the delivery of HIPC relief because of "humps" (a steep increase in debt service in any one year) or external shocks. In fact 4 of the first 5 HIPC’s debt became unsustainable between their HIPC I decision and completion points. HIPC II is unlikely to provide long-term debt sustainability unless it recognises the need to provide a cushion against shocks. For middle income countries financial arrangements that are based on the voluntary exchange of commercial debt for a menu of options including bonds or new money should be considered for several highly indebted middle income African countries. This session will focus on the current state of affairs and new modalities to deal with these problems. Mr. Eloho Otobo will moderate the session and Prof. Martin Dent (Jubilee 2000) and Prof. Mwangi Kimenyi (KIPPRA) will lead the discussions.


Friday, 4 May 2001

Free Day


Saturday, 5 May 2001

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Plenary Session VI: Transforming Partnerships with Africa (Agenda Item 7)

Partnerships have always been important for Africa and continue to be so. Yet there is much dissatisfaction with development assistance to Africa among African states, aid organisations and outside observers. Some go as far as to call past aid to Africa a ‘failure’. Several lessons can be drawn from past experience with aid. The first lesson is that African ownership of the development agenda is critical. The second lesson is that the partnership should be appropriate for the conditions of the African country. Africa is diverse and conditions vary enormously. This requires new modalities to deal with these differences. A third lesson is that partnership arrangements should be clear and predictable. A fourth lesson is that both partners---the aid recipient and the donor---should be held accountable. This session will discuss methods of enhancing partnerships with Africa in the areas of trade, aid and external debt.

Mr. Patrick K. Asea, Director ESPD will moderate the session; and Ms. Elene Makonnen; and a representative from DFID will lead the discussions.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Plenary Session VII: Wrap-Up (Agenda Item 8)

Wrap–up Session by Mr. K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary, ECA.

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Plenary Session VIII: Statutory Issues (Agenda item 9)

The meeting will consider reports from the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts of ECA’s Subregional Development Centres (SRDCs) and the other subsidiary organs of the Commission, setting out the main objectives of ECA’s programme during the next biennium, as well as activities to be undertaken to realize those objectives.

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Plenary Session IX:Proposed Programme of Work and Priority for the Biennium 2002-2003 (Agenda Item 10)

ECA’s biennial work programme forms an integral part of the Secretary-General’s overall work programme for the Organization which will be considered by the United Nations General Assembly through the Committee for Program and Coordination (CPC). The meeting will thus consider a document highlighting priorities in ECA’s work programme for the next biennium (2002-2003) and offer its comments, which will thereafter be transmitted to the CPC.


Sunday, 6 May 2001

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Plenary Session X:Consideration of Resolutions (Agenda Item 11)
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.    Free


Monday, 7 May 2001

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Plenary Session XI: Presentation of UNDP’s Regional Co-operation Framework (Agenda Item 12)

A detailed presentation will be made by UNDP to the meeting, outlining the main objectives and activities of UNDP in Africa during the period 2002-2005. The presentation will be followed by an exchange of views and information between UNDP and African member States on how to reinforce cooperation for the implementation of the regional cooperation framework in order to maximise impacts.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Plenary Session XII: Consideration of Draft Report and Closure of the Meeting
6:30 p.m.