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Cablegate: Usau: Uneca Executive Secretary Discusses Donor

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PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDS #2644/01 3101204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061204Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6758
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7982

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002644

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/FO AND AF/RSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV IO PREL AU
SUBJECT: USAU: UNECA EXECUTIVE SECRETARY DISCUSSES DONOR
SUPPORT FOR AU, UNECA

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: USAU Ambassador Battle and Under Secretary
General Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of the UN
Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), affirmed the
partnership between the USG and the UN system in support of
African development priorities. Janneh shared information
about two upcoming fora for coordination and information
sharing among donors, the African Union (AU) and UNECA. The
first of these is an informal "think tank" created for select
Ambassadors from donor countries to exchange ideas with
Janneh and AU Deputy Commissioner Erastus Mwencha. The
second is the Donor Support Group, scheduled for December
1-3. Janneh also shared his views on key priorities for
donor support to the AU and UNECA, including advancing
intra-regional African trade, and efforts to address climate
change and development. END SUMMARY.

---------------------
AU/UNECA "THINK TANK"
---------------------

2. (SBU) On November 2, USAU Ambassador Battle and USAID
African Union (AU) Desk Officer called on the Executive
Secretary of UNECA, Abdoulie Janneh. Janneh's Chief of
Staff, Adeyemi Dipeolu, was also present. The first issue
discussed was a newly-formed "think tank," to meet later in
the week, comprised of select Ambassadors and representatives
from donor nations, AU Deputy Commissioner Mwencha, and
Janneh. The purpose of the group is to generate ideas to
help the AU and UNECA improve institutional performance.
Similar meetings were held to assist the AU in developing its
strategic plan, and were valuable in providing an informal
setting for Mwencha and Janneh to brainstorm with donor
country ambassadors on issues that impact the AU and UNECA.
Janneh indicated that the initial "think tank" meeting would
have a loose agenda to allow for a free exhange of ideas.

3. (SBU) Janneh said that the AU is "gaining credibility by
the day" with the regional integration agenda coming together
and Africans beginning to transcend their differences and
speak with one voice on key issues. He noted the partnership
between the AU and UNECA, indicating that while the AU has
been forced to focus on crises, UNECA has provided a high
level of capacity in social and economic affairs. He
stressed that while UNECA is a UN institution, it is also
"Africa" and shares the same program as the AU.

-------------------
DONOR SUPPORT GROUP
-------------------

4. (SBU) On the subject of the Donor Support Group meeting,
to take place December 1-3, Janneh noted that a team is in
place to organize the event and the agenda is virtually set.
To begin, the AU will provide an overview of its strategy.
In turn, UNECA will present its business plan and the
Regional Economic Communities (RECs) will present an
integrated, continent-wide agenda. AU Commissioners will be
available for a question and answer session. Meeting
organizers seek donor participation at the policy
decision-making level. Locally-based, technical staff are
expected to manage the implementation of any commitments
made. The AU strategy, UNECA business plan, and budgets for
both organizations will be available in advance to allow
donors to study them and reach decisions regarding support.
Janneh indicated that support would be sought across the full
spectrum of the strategic plan, but that pledges of funding
are not expected at the meeting, in most cases. Instead,
program areas will be developed and described, and donors can
then commit to aligning around them. Janneh cited the area
of trade as an example; participants might consider the
question of how to support the AU and RECs to increase access
to global markets and intra-African trade.

5. (SBU) In discussing how funding would be provided, Janneh
explained that the AU's total budget is projected at USD 784
million over four years, a portion of which member states
will contribute. Donor support will be sought for the
remaining funds needed. From the AU's perspective, support
ideally would be made available through a common fund with a
proportion of resources left flexible and untied. Janneh
acknowledged the financing restrictions that donors face, and
registered his hope that donors unable to provide budgetary
support would indicate the reasons. To support the AU, UNECA
will seek funds to cover any gaps in reaching a targeted
budget of USD 100 million over three years. Looking at the
ongoing process that hopefully will result from the Donor

ADDIS ABAB 00002644 002 OF 002


Support Group meeting, a donors-only group is working on
terms of reference for membership. (Janneh expects that the
name will change to the "Partner Support Group.") Criteria
could include a minimum commitment to support the AU or
UNECA, for example USD 300,000 per year, to be established by
the donors.

6. (SBU) Expanding upon areas in which donors might
productively engage with the AU and UNECA, Janneh highlighted
climate change and intra-regional trade. To date, UNECA has
done substantial work with the AU and the African Development
Bank to set up the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), which
centralizes climate change information. On trade, the AU and
UNECA are trying to push a common voice in negotiations,
while the RECs will implement trade agreements.
AMBASSADOR MICHAEL A. BATTLE
MUSHINGI

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