Coronavirus: UN postpones conference of ministers slated for Addis Ababa

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has shifted the date for the 2020 edition of Conference of (African) Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, as a precaution against COVID-19.

The decision is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos by the Communications Section of  UNECA.

The body has, however, not released fresh timetables for the conference and its other events.

NAN reports that the 53rd session of the Conference was earlier scheduled to hold in  Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, from March 18 to March 24, 2020.

The statement read: “Following global health concerns pertaining to the COVID-19 and the need for added vigilance, upon consultation with partners, the ECA will postpone all its public meetings until further notice.

“These include the 2020 Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

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“ECA will reach out to ministers to discuss member states preparedness,” the statement read in part.

The ECA said that the theme of the conference: “The future of Africa: Industrialisation in the digital era’’, recognises Africa’s desire to industrialise and create jobs for its populace, particularly the youth.

The body explained that, while the fourth industrial revolution, presents challenges for countries in Africa, it also offers an opportunity for boosting competitiveness and industrial leapfrogging.

NAN reports that more than 3,000 people worldwide had died from Covid-19 and no fewer than 90,000 others infected in over 45 countries.

Most of the death and those infected had been recorded in China.

However, Europe and the Middle East had been reported to have recorded rising cases more than China while the first infection in Latin America was recorded on Wednesday in Brazil.

A few cases have surfaced in Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt, despite the continent’s close economic ties with China.

(NAN)

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