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Working on creating meaningful and equitable social and economic development in parts of the developing world can be difficult, and often tests the mettle of the most experienced professional in the field. One organization that works in this area is the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), established in 1958 under the administrative direction of the United Nations. As the regional commission of the United Nations in Africa, the ECA "is mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 member states, foster regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development". Thematically, the ECA's activities are organized around divisions that include Gender and Development, Trade and Regional Integration, and several other areas. The website provides ample material on these programs, along with important updates about the commission's various initiatives, such as the Science and Technology Network and the African Development Forum. The publications section is also worth a glance, as it features a number of thorough reports on various aspects of development throughout the continent, including a 281-page report released in July 2004 titled "Assessing Regional Integration in Africa".
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