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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building in economic and social policy analysis in Africa through the networking of expertise


In addition to the Economic Commission for Africa, which has the responsibility to advise Governments on urgent national and regional policy issues, other institutions and independent researchers in and outside Africa undertake research activities relevant to the African policy environment. Linking these institutions and providing results of their policy analysis more directly to decision makers increases the policy impact of their work in the continent. The project enables ECA to tap network-affiliated expertise in a cost-effective way on behalf of the region, and to make available to Member States relevant advice in a timely manner. By teaming up with ECA, the networks and their affiliated policy researchers would have a more direct impact on policy outcomes in ECA Member States.


To have a more informed and broad-based economic and social policy-making in Africa at the national level, through a network of development expertise in the region

Expected accomplishments:

  • A database of development expertise on Africa with and among research centres and individuals;

  • Enhanced analytical and applied skills at the national policy-making level.

Effects and Impact:

The project has addressed a broad range of activities, including the promotion of synergies between researchers and Africa’s development partner’s programmes, forging common positions on policy issues of importance to Africa, fostering, synthesizing, and enabling key studies, facilitating research and policy analysis, serving as a clearing house of African development information, developing and strengthening expertise in project networks, and the provision of advisory services to ECA member states. As a result of the project activities the level of informed awareness of sub-regional and regional issues has heightened, thereby pushing forward the policy research agenda and bringing areas of key development challenges to the attention of regional research institutions, networks, and decision-makers.

Under the aegis of the NEPAD processes, significant development impacts were generated. The African Development Fora (ADF) advanced the process of regional integration, specifically in the area of informing ongoing initiatives towards an African economic and monetary union. The ADF fora also convened expert groups to examine the integration experiences of other regions and obtained a consensus on a more encompassing definition of the type of leadership, strategic vision, and actions necessary to positively impact the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The African Development Forum has brought together experts on regional integration from Africa as well as from across the world that to critically assess the experiences of the various regions with a view to drawing lessons for Africa. It consolidated lessons learned and identified best practices. It drew upon the rich experience of ongoing sub-regional initiatives to develop practical action points for furthering economic integration processes. It defined priorities and strategic actions needed to accelerate regional integration by discussing and agreeing upon practical policy and institutional measures needed to accelerate the regional integration process.

The African Knowledge Networks Forum represents a key step in the ECA-led process to position and inform an African-driven development agenda. AKNF supports the ADF through the provision of specific research and policy programmes for implementation at national, sub-regional, and regional levels. AKNF brings together networked institutions from thematically different area. AKNF has also underpinned the Corporate and Economic governance codes and standards, the bulk of which have been incorporated into the NEPAD framework.