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The statement below is an excerpt of a speech given by Y.K. Amoako, on 6th July, 2000. Amoako is the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commision for Africa.

"Our analyses and services at ECA, including awareness-raising, consensus-building and policy fora, have been oriented to facilitate progress on these key challenges to Africa.

I should like to particularly draw your Excellencies’ attention to the findings of our analysis in three critical areas:

...he listed two points and the third below...

"""Third, the regional integration so central to your deliberations here offers immense opportunities for achieving economies of scale with regard to social investment. Let us take the case of higher education that has the unique feature of being the most expensive form of education investment per beneficiary.

A regional approach can reduce cost, maximize the benefits, enhance quality and benefit more people. It could help countries revitalize the contribution of education to economic growth, poverty reduction, and to the development of more inclusive, cohesive, democratic and regionally integrated societies. It could enhance the capacity to produce top quality managerial and research manpower and improve the relevance of learning through development of local content in the curriculum. It would strengthen the capacity to produce affordable reading material rich in local content. It would also exploit the opportunities provided by distance learning, including more effective use of national, sub-regional, regional and global education resources and serving isolated communities.

At ECA, we are currently blending a regional approach with the application of ICTS. We have established the Africa Knowledge Networks Forum to facilitate knowledge-sharing and research partnerships between professional networks, as well as between the networks and key knowledge end-users –among them policy-makers, trainers at institutions of higher learning, civil society organizations and the private sector.

We believe that this initiative (unification) will increase the regional knowledge and experience of future leaders, thereby strengthening future political commitment to regional integration.

The creation of a United States of Africa will open many more opportunities for such initiatives."""

Link: Economic Commission for Africa website