24th ICSOE Meeting – Economic and Social Impacts of the Covid-19 Crisis on East Africa – Strategies for Better Recovery

During the year 2019-2020, the world suffers from the threats of Covid-19, which has forced countries of the world to shift management methods to tackle the pandemic and its impact on business. Countries in East Africa have faced significant challenges in particular, as they have also been overwhelmed by locust infestations, floods and other natural disasters in recent years. To deliberate on finding ways to deal with the effects of the disasters, the East African policymakers held their 24th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) from 24 to 25 November 2020.

The virtual meeting, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), was attended by fourteen East African states under the theme ‘Economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on East Africa: strategies for the build-back-better ‘. ‘

In his inaugural address, Eritrean Foreign Minister and Chairman of the 23rd ICSOE Bureau, Minister Osman Saleh, thanked ECA for arranging the important meeting and praised East African countries for tackling challenges facing business and livelihoods Of their people disputed.

“The pandemic has become the biggest challenge of recent times that has confronted the ideals of humanity that provide collective and shared responsibility beyond existing borders and political attitudes. In our region, the pandemic is linked to locust invasion and floods, with ‘ a major impact on development and people Nevertheless, countries in our region were one of the very first countries to take aggressive measures against Covid-19 through mandatory quarantine, and tackled the pandemic and its consequences through, where possible, national capabilities and mobilize stimulus packages in the interest of social protection and macroeconomic recovery, said the Minister and Chairman of ICSOE.

Minister Osman Saleh, who expressed great satisfaction at the fact that Eritrea has so far not suffered from Covid-19 deaths, stressed the importance of exploiting the potential of regional integration to eradicate the pandemic and economic recovery. to stimulate and further develop after the pandemic. In this line, Minister Osman Saleh also called on member states to jointly reflect on ongoing experiences and challenges to consolidate the region’s readiness for future emergencies.

Government officials from the fourteen member states shared their experiences and discussed how they addressed their respective socio-economic issues during the ongoing pandemic. Ambassador Tesfamicael Gherahtu, who represented Eritrea, shared Eritrea’s experiences during the pandemic.

In his speech, Ambassador Tesfamichael praised Eritreans’ unanimous efforts to deal with the pandemic.

Based on the case studies of the socio-economic situations in the countries presented during the meeting, the conference ended by making further work plans. Nnenna Nwabufo, Acting Director-General of the African Development Bank, emphasized the importance of regional coordination to improve and strengthen the African economy, and member states agree that the pragmatic plans and networks are essential moves to be taken in the attempt to restore the economy in the post-pandemic era, while still focusing on the health safety of the people.

Minister Osman Saleh expressed his satisfaction that Eritrea had so far been able to curb the spread of the pandemic, saying: “The overwhelming focus as a priority remains the health of people with life commitments. As a result, we have sub-region the lowest Covid For the specific case of my country, Eritrea, it is a great satisfaction to say that it is contained and that we have to date a death toll, the pragmatic national approaches remain critical, but it is essential to harness the potential of regional integration to eradicate and stimulate economic recovery and promote the development of our economies. a necessity. ‘

Representatives of member states as well as representatives of youth and women’s organizations, economic economic communities, civil societies, private sector associations, media and academia have discussed what is nowadays a global challenge that interferes with almost all socio-economic currents worldwide. The meetings may differ from country to country, and this is where this regional meeting was held to bring forward timely issues and ways.

Since the 23rd ICSOE, the Bureau has worked to maintain strong liaison with the EAC to implement and consolidate the recommendation set out in last year’s communications. Bureau Chairman Minister Osman Saleh explained that the current session has retained the core and continuity of the previous session, while the impact of the global pandemic and the ways to shift the challenges to opportunities for vital post-Covid development prospects 19 be emphasized.

Government officials from Burundi, Comoros, RD Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda took part in the virtual meeting.

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