A Working Paper by Elizabeth Banks | 2022
Banks, Elizabeth (2022) “Economic decolonization and international economic thinking at the UN regional commission for Africa (UNECA): a research agenda" EUI Working Paper HEC 2022/03 http://hdl.handle.net/1814/74410
This exploratory paper proposes UNECA as a unique site of international and African economic thinking. While Africa is not generally seen as a source of dynamic international economic thinking, this paper presents a preliminary discussion of how UNECA’s staff worked out a pan-African conception of economic decolonization that shaped and intersected with the meanings of this idea developed by thinkers and planners in other regions of the world. While
historical literature on UNECA is scarce, understanding its work in the context of decolonization can bring greater clarity on what was achieved and what was not, as well as the roots of the apparent failures of economic decolonization and African economic integration. It can also highlight how certain international ideas were implemented, used, and popularized in Africa, and how they in turn influence international economic thinking in the “global north” and other regions. In all, a deeper knowledge of UNECA’s work has the potential inform a more complete global history of international economic thinking, especially the history of attempts for worldwide economic equity, and can inform strategies of development and regional economic cooperation in the present.