64 African organizations and individuals, working in a variety of fields to address Africa’s development challenges, have welcomed the withdrawal of British politician Matt Hancock as a special envoy of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
They expressed fears over what they say could be a “damaging fall out from the failed attempt of the appointment.”
In a statement, the 64 signatories expressed worry over the consequences and lessons of that appointment, saying the Hancock debacle has damaged the UNECA and the credibility and standing of its Executive Secretary, Ms. Vera Songwe.
Mr. Matt Hancock, a former UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and MP for West Suffolk, had been appointed as Special Representative for Financial Innovation and Climate Change of UNECA.
But his appointment was withdrawn by the UN just days after following outrage and concerns raised by civil society and other bodies over his poor handling of the COVID-19 situation in UK which they fear will be extended to Africa if he is given the job to manage COVID-19 in Africa.
“The decision of Ms. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of the UNECA, to appoint Mr. Hancock was disgraceful to and disdainful of all Africans. The appointment was a grave error of judgement by Ms. Vera Songwe and the rescinding of the appointment is a severe rebuke to her”, the signatories assert in their statement.
The signatories make a point that Ms. Vera Songwe’s ill-judged decision to appoint Mr. Hancock and her celebration of his competence and value in the face of evidence to the contrary is beyond parody.
They are also not happy with the UNECA because the “Hancock affair constitutes a betrayal of the best traditions of the UNECA as an institution which strives to reinforce and strengthen Africa’s autonomous policymaking, and independent presence and voice on the world stage.
“The worldwide negative publicity generated by the farce of Mr. Hancock’s appointment has damaged the reputation of the UNECA, a key continental institution. It has also gravely undermined the credibility and standing of Ms. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary responsible for the bizarre decision. The Hancock affair raises important questions about the governance and accountability of the UNECA and its leadership that Africans need to address”, the statement read in parts.
Click here for the full statement.
Below are all 64 signatories
1. Abdourahmane Ndiaye, Secrétariat permanent du Rapport Alternatif Sur l’Afrique (RASA)
2. Adebayo. O. Olukoshi, Wits School of Governance, Johannesburg, South Africa.
3. Alice Urusaro Karekezi, Center for Conflict Management (CCM)University of Rwanda (UR)
4. Alice Mogwe, Director, DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, Gaborone, Botswana
5. Alioune Sall, African Futures Institute, Pretoria/Dakar
6. Alvin Mosioma, Executive Director, Tax Justice Network-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
7. Andrew Karamagi, Human rights Lawyer, Uganda
8. Bench Marks Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa
9. Brian Tamuka Kagoro, Harare, Zimbabwe
10. Chaacha Mwita – Nairobi, Kenya
11. Chafik Ben Rouine, President of Tunisian Observatory of Economy
12. Charles Abugre, Tamale, Ghana
13. Cheikh Guèye, Geographer, Alternative Report on Africa (AROA/RASA), Dakar, Senegal
14. Cheikh Tidiane Dieye, Director, African Centre for Trade, Integration and development (CACID), Dakar, Senegal
15. Chérif Salif SY, Directeur du Forum du Tiers-monde (FTM), Dakar, Sénégal
16. Chike Jideani, Director, The Ethics and Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria
17. Claire Mathonsi, Deputy Executive Director,Advocacy Accelerator, Nairobi, Kenya
18. Claude Kabemba, Human rights activist, Johannesburg, South Africa
19. Crystal Simeoni, Director, Nawi-Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective, Nairobi, Kenya
20.David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa
21. Demba Moussa Dembele, Chair African Association for Research and Cooperation in Support of
Endogenous Development (ARCADE), Dakar, Senegal
22. Dieudonne Been Masudi, Ressources Naturelles pour le Département (RND), Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
23. Dzodzi Tsikata, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon Ghana
24. Ebrima Sall, Trust Africa, Dakar, Senegal
25. Élie Kadima, MDR : Mouvement pour les droits de l’homme et la reconciliation, Lumumbashi, D.R. Congo
26. Ernest Mpararo, Secrétaire Exécutif de la Licoco, Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
27. Eunice Musiime – Executive Director, Akina Mama wa Afrika, Kampala, Uganda
28. Firoze Manji, Adjunct Professor, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
29. Franck Fwamba, Touche Pas A Mon Cobalt, Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
30. Gladwell Otieno, Executive Director, Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG), Nairobi, Kenya
31. Godwin Murunga, CODESRIA Dakar, Senegal
32. Hope Chigudu, , HopeAfrica Feminist Consulting Group, Uganda/Zimbabwe
33. Ibrahim Oanda Ogachi, CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal
34. Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja, Nigeria
35. Ikal Ang’elei Executive Director , Friends of Lake Turkana, Kenya
36. Isabel Maria Casimiro, Maputo, Mozambique
37. Issa Shivji, Emeritus Professor, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
38. Janah Ncube, Harare, Zimbabwe
39. Jane Nalunga, Executive Director, SEATINI, Kampala, Uganda
40. Jason Braganza, Executive Director, AFRODAD, Harare, Zimbabwe
41. Jibrin Ibrahim, Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja, Nigeria
42. John Githongo – Publisher – The Elephant; Former Permanent Secretary (Governance and Ethics)
Office of the President, Nairobi, Kenya
43. Kwasi Adu-Amankwah General Secretary ITUC-Africa, Lomé, Togo
44. Lebohang Pheko, Senior Research Fellow, Trade Collective, Johannesburg
45. Makau Mutua, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Margaret W. Wong Professor, SUNY Buffalo Law School, The State University of New York
46. Michael Uusiku Akuupa, Director, LARRI, Windhoek, Namibia
47. Mike Lameki, Espoir ONG, Kolwezi, D.R. Congo
48. Moses Kambou, Executive Director, ORCADE (Organisation pour le Renforcement des Capacités
de Développement), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
49. Mshai Mwangola – The Orature Collective, Nairobi, Kenya
50. Mutuso Dhliwayo, Executive Director, ZELA, Harare, Zimbabwe
51. Nancy Kachingwe, Gender & Public Policy Advisor, Harare, Zimbabwe
52. Ndongo Samba Sylla, Senegalese Economist, Dakar.
53. Okey Onyejekwe, Governance and Development Consultant, Abuja, Nigeria
54. Omano Edigheji, Development Expert, Kaduna, Nigeria
55. Pascal K Kambale, Dakar, Senegal
56. Prisca Mokgadi Gaborone, Botswana
57. Riaz K Tayob of SEATINI (Southern and East African Trade Institute) – South Africa
58. Sarah Mukasa, Kampala, Uganda
59. Shuvai Busuman Nyoni, Executive Director, African Leadership Centre, Nairobi Kenya.
60. Souad Aden Osman, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
61. Sylvia Tamale, School of Law, Makerere University, Kamplala Uganda
62. Tendai Murisa – SIVIO Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe
63. Wanjala Nasong’o, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee. USA
64. Yao Graham, Coordinator, Third World Network-Africa, Accra, Ghana