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Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is an arm of the United Nations (UN). It was established in 1958 by the UN to promote economic development in Africa.

Aims and objectives

(i) To promote and facilitate concerted action for the economic and social development of Africa.
(ii) To maintain and strengthen economic relations of African countries, both among themselves and with the other countries of the world.
(iii) Carrying out projects that cut across national boundaries for the overall continental interest.
(iv) Proffering necessary advice to African countries on programmes and projects that will enhance sub-regional, regional and international cooperation.
(v) To initiate conference and seminars on African economic problems.
(vi) Carrying out studies on the creation of multinational industries on a regional basis (Joint ventures).

Problems in the Implementation of ECA Projects

(i) Ownership and control problem:
There was no agreement as to the control and ownership of such a joint venture. Because of this, fears were expressed by the member states, about the problem of finance, personnel management and economic independence of the projects.

(ii) Location problem:
Some member countries argued that such joint venture projects would bring immense economic benefits to the country of location, and little, or none, to the others. Such countries are frustrating the commission because they are not willing to support locations that would not benefit them.