Niamey, October 8, 2015 (ECA) - In Niger for an official visit of four days since Sunday, October 4, the Deputy Executive Secretary for Knowledge Delivery of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Ms. Giovanie Biha, completed this visit with an audience granted to her by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, His Excellency, Mr. Brigi Rafini.
Drawing her conclusions on her visit for the national press, in the presence of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Niger, Mr. Fodé N’Diaye and the Director of the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the Economic Commission for Africa, Dr. Dimitri Sanga, Ms. Biha said, “I am very happy to hear the highest authorities of Niger express their firm commitment for the support of the ECA and through it the entire United Nations System.” Ms. Biha continued, “As a key partner of the ECA, Niger hosts the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa since 1963, an Office which covers fifteen countries of West Africa”. Moreover, she indicated that she had “shared and discussed with the members of the Government whom she met the priorities of the ECA which are in line with the priorities of Niger”. To better discuss and intensify cooperation between Niger and the ECA, Ms. Biha met with the Prime Minister, Head of Government, and with three other ministers. These were the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Mr. Saidou Sidibé, the Minister of Land Improvement and Community Development, Mrs. Ibrahim Binta Fodi, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad, Mrs. Kaffa Rékiatou Christelle Jackou. The rich and fruitful discussions which took place between the two parties focused on the support that the ECA provides to Niger and how this cooperation can be improved, as the ECA, in the framework of its new vision, has undertaken to orient its actions towards the structural transformation of African economies through industrialization. In this framework, underlined Ms. Biha, “in response to the request for support of the Government of Niger, the ECA provides its assistance, notably in: (i) the formulation of the Regional Development Plan (PDR) for the Region of Diffa, bordering Nigeria, (ii) the development of the geographical information system of the communes of Niger (SIGCOM), (iii) the Land Policy Initiative, (iv) the implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and (v) the Caravan for Regional Integration”.
The discussions also included activities on planning, statistics, industrialization and regional integration, the main areas of focus of the ECA.
The Deputy Executive Secretary for Knowledge Delivery of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, took advantage of her mission to meet the personnel of the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, to whom she transmitted the greetings of the Executive Secretary of the ECA, Mr. Carlos Lopes, before discussion with them the new vision of the ECA, the Business Plan 2013-2015, the opportunities, difficulties, working conditions, the country profiles, the U.N. Umoja system, and the recruitment and continuing training of personnel.
Ms. Biha also met with technical and financial partners including the Head of the European Union Delegation and the Head of Swiss Cooperation in Niger which, through the ECA, finances the Land Policy Initiative in Niger, a project for which the preliminary results are more than conclusive. She also held a working session with the United Nations Country Team and visited the flower of Nigerien culture which is the Boubou Hama National Museum.
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