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Tuesday, 12th December 2017
Amb. Rebecca Amuge Otengo presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on 7 December 2017 at UNECA Complex in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Amb. Amuge Otengo is Uganda's new Envoy to Ethiopia and Djibouti with residence in Addis Ababa, and Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and UNECA. Amb. Otengo was accompanied by Mr. Aryabaha Evans, Counsellor at the Uganda Embassy in Addis Ababa while H.E. Songwe was accompanied by Ms. Collen V. Kelapile, her Chief of Staff and Ms. Sandra Baffoe-Bonnie, Secretary to the Commission.

Amb. Amuge Otengo thanked the Executive Secretary for receiving her warmly, and delivered to her host warm greetings from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sam Kutesa, the People and Government of the Republic of Uganda. She expressed gratitude for the warmth and strength of the working relationship and cooperation between UNECA and Uganda  which she pledged to maintain and consolidate. Amb. AmugeOtengo also congratulated Ms. Vera Songwe for being the first Woman to head UNECA since its inception in 1958. She expressed optimism that Ms. Songwe's wealth of experience in diverse portfolios related to Finance, Global Policies and Development would enable her to guide Africa towards the much desired socio-economic transformation.

Uganda's Envoy commended UNECA for shaping the 2015 Addis Ababa Plan of Action and the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the 2030 Development Agenda - which Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sam Kutesa, was intimately associated with as the 69th President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). She further noted that Uganda, through its National Development Plan II for 2015 - 2020, was implementing the 17 SDGs with varying levels of success - for which UNECA's support would be necessary.

H.E. Ms Vera Songwe cordially welcomed her guest to UNECA and to her office, and pledged her readiness to work with Uganda in diverse areas of development for mutual benefits. She noted that UNECA focuses on thematic areas of Macroeconomic Policy, Regional Integration and Trade, Social Development, Natural Resources, Innovation and Technology, Gender, Governance, and Statistics. Ms. Songwe noted that UNECA strives to obtain and rely on up to date data and statistics to mentor the implementation of SDGs, support establishment of Africa's Free Trade Area (CFTA), industrialization, value addition and value chain development for the befit of Africa. She acknowledged, however, that obtaining reliable and up to date data and statistics from most African countries was still a big challenge.

The Executive Secretary underscored Uganda's efforts in managing its nascent Oil and Gas Sector and expressed readiness to work with Uganda to enhance benefits from this and other key sectors. She called on Uganda and other African countries to provide necessary data to UNECA in a timely manner to support research, policy development and advocacy in support of the continental development priorities. She presented Amb. Otengo with copies of UNECA's recent publications and wished her success during her tour of duty in Addis Ababa.