64 groups and individuals support UN withdrawal of Matt Hancook as ECA special envoy

They expressed fears that what they said could be a “damaging fallout from the failed nomination attempt.”

In a statement, the 64 signatories expressed concern about the consequences and lessons of this appointment, saying the Hancock debacle has damaged UNECA as well as the credibility and reputation of its executive secretary, Ms Vera. Songwe.

Mr Matt Hancock, former UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs and MP for West Suffolk, had been appointed UNECA Special Representative for Financial Innovation and Climate Change.

Below is a copy of the declaration and the signatories

The Hancock debacle damaged the ECA and the credibility and reputation of its executive secretary, Ms. Vera Songwe.

We, the undersigned African organizations and individuals, welcome the withdrawal by the UN Secretary-General of the appointment of Mr. Matt Hancock, former UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs and Member of Parliament for West Suffolk in as Special Representative for Financial Innovation and Climate. Change of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

The decision of Ms. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of UNECA, to appoint Mr. Hancock was shameful and contemptuous of all Africans.

The appointment was a serious error in judgment by Ms Vera Songwe and the quashing of the appointment is a severe reproach against her.

In the letter naming Mr Hancock, Ms Vera Songwe reportedly hailed her ‘success in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the acceleration of vaccines which has led the UK to move faster towards recovery economic is a testament to the strengths that will bring you to this role ”.

The announcement of Mr Hancock’s appointment and the disclosure of Ms Songwe’s effusive assessment of her record as UK Health Secretary and its potential value to Africa coincided with the release of a report British parliamentarian who strongly criticized his handling of the Covid 19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.

Mr Hancock resigned from the UK government in June under a cloud amid accusations of hypocrisy after being filmed by security cameras in his office, breaking the government’s Covid-19 distancing rules, dropping out with an assistant with who he had
a case.

Mr Hancock was also mired in corruption allegations during his tenure as Secretary of Health.

Ms Vera Songwe’s reckless decision to appoint Mr Hancock and her celebration of his competence and worth in the face of evidence to the contrary is beyond parody.

It is likely that the widespread condemnation of Mr. Hancock’s appointment had a significant influence on the decision of the UN Secretary-General to override.

Negative reactions ranged from bewilderment to angry denunciations of disrespectful dumping on Africa from a disgraced politician whose competence has been questioned in his own country and who knows little about Africa.

See Telegraph – fury greets matt-hancock on a date; Guardian – Matt Hancock appointed UN Special Envoy; Independent appointment of Hancock; Hancock’s insignificant appointment questioned.

The Hancock case constitutes a betrayal of the best traditions of UNECA as an institution that strives to strengthen and strengthen Africa’s autonomous policymaking, as well as its independent presence and voice on the stage. global. Unfortunately, this is the last

in a series of acts that show Ms. Songwe’s lack of understanding or respect for the history of UNECA and a thinly veiled contempt for African institutions.

It is part of a history of incidents and acts involving Ms. Songwe that have degraded the role of UNECA, developed and advanced by previous executive secretaries, as an institution serving African interests.

Under Ms. Songwe’s leadership, ECA moved away from the consultative and collaborative relationship with the African Union, which has been the centerpiece of a strategic engagement between the major pan-African intergovernmental institutions, in which the African Development La banking is also an essential pillar.

The IMF and the World Bank and their universe of power have become a more important point of reference. UNECA staff speak of the incredible time the Executive Secretary spends traveling to cement her ties in these circles of power.

Pan-African collaborative structures and relationships have been largely hollowed out.

The aborted appointment of Mr. Hancock illustrates these negative changes.

The announcement of his appointment by ECA said that he “will continue the work of the UN to support Africa’s path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by incentivizing financial investments in sustainable economic development. , working with organizations like the IMF, the G20 and the COP26 in partnership with the UN. Economic Commission for Africa.

This role duplicates the decisions and processes already initiated by the African Union. In April 2020, then-African Union President South African President Ramaphosa appointed four internationally renowned Africans as special envoys to help “mobilize international support for Africa’s efforts to address the economic challenges that African countries will face as a result of COVID-19. -19 pandemic.

They were tasked with soliciting swift and concrete support as promised by the G20, the European Union and other international financial institutions.

See African Union announces special envoys.

In addition to Mr. Hancock’s manifest inability for the role offered to him, the existence of these four AU envoys raises questions about how his role could have fitted into the architecture of outreach initiatives. organizations in support of the economic recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic.

UNECA staff are said to have been puzzled but not surprised by the appointment of Matt Hancock, seeing it as the latest example of a leadership style that has caused the institution’s discontent and demoralization. That mood was not helped by what staff consider to be the poor and indulgent responses from UN Headquarters to complaints about Ms. Songwe’s leadership.

The negative global publicity generated by the farce of Mr. Hancock’s appointment has damaged the reputation of UNECA, a key continental institution. It also seriously undermined the credibility and reputation of Ms. Vera Songwe, the executive secretary responsible for this bizarre decision.

The Hancock case raises important questions about the governance and accountability of UNECA and its leadership that Africans must address.

This is an important element in ensuring that we have pan-African institutions that are able to lead the movement for the realization of an African agenda of socio-economic structural transformation and democratization that advance the aspirations of the African peoples.


1. Abdourahmane Ndiaye, Permanent Secretariat of the Alternative Report on Africa (RASA)
2. Adébayo. 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 Center 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 the Tunisian Observatory of the Economy
12.Charles Abugre, Tamale, Ghana
13. Sheikh Guèye, Geographer, Alternative Report on Africa (AROA / RASA), Dakar, Senegal
14.Cheikh Tidiane Dieye, Director, African Center for Trade, Integration and Development (CACID), Dakar, Senegal
15.Cheriff Salif SY, Director of the Third World Forum (FTM), Dakar, Senegal
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 Simeone, Director, Nawi-Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective, Nairobi, Kenya
20.David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa
21.Demba Moussa Dembele, President African Association for Research and Cooperation in Support of Endogenous Development (ARCADE), Dakar, Senegal
22. Dieudonne Been Masudi, Natural Resources for the Department (RND), Kinshasa, DR Congo
23.Dzodzi Tsikata, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon Ghana
24.Ebrima Sall, Trust Africa, Dakar, Senegal
25. Élie Kadima, MDR: Movement for Human Rights and Reconciliation, Lumumbashi, DR Congo
26. Ernest Mpararo, Executive Secretary of Licoco, Kinshasa, DR 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, DR Congo
30. Gladwell Otieno, Executive Director, African Center 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, Center 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 Researcher, Center for Democracy and Development, Abuja, Nigeria
42.John Githongo – Publisher – L’Éléphant; 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 Researcher, Trade Collective, Johannesburg
45. Makau Mutua, Distinguished Professor SUNY, Professor Margaret W. Wong, SUNY Buffalo School of Law, State University of New York
46. ​​Michael Uusiku Akuupa, Director, LARRI, Windhoek, Namibia
47. Mike Lameki, NGO Espoir, Kolwezi, DR Congo
48.Moses Kambou, Executive Director, ORCADE (Organization for the Strengthening of Development Capacities), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
49.Mshai Mwangola – The Orature Collective, Nairobi, Kenya
50.Mutuso Dhliwayo, Executive Director, ZELA, Harare, Zimbabwe
51 Nancy Kachingwe, Gender and 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 from SEATINI (Southern and Eastern Africa Institute of Commerce) – South Africa
58.Sarah Mukasa, Kampala, Uganda
59 Shuvai Busuman Nyoni, Executive Director, African Leadership Center, Nairobi Kenya.
60.Souad Aden Osman, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
61.Sylvia Tamale, Faculty of Law, Makerere University, Kamplala Uganda
62.Tendai Murisa – SIVIO Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe
63. Wanjala Nasong’o, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee. United States
64. Yao Graham, Coordinator, Third World Network-Africa, Accra, Ghana

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