Assessing Regional Integration in Africa V16 July 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia/Geneva Switzerland -  The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) launched the fifth edition of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA V) at the Heads of States Summit of the African Union meeting from 9 to 16 July 2012. This edition represents a complete revamp of the UN ECA flagship series, as it comes for the first time as a package of knowledge products aimed at promoting strategic development issues to multiple audiences and stakeholders.  

The highlight of the knowledge products that are part of this new UN ECA initiative will be a series of e-Learning courses developed and disseminated in cooperation with UNITAR. Building on UNITAR’s decade-long experience in technology-enhanced learning and networking programmes, the courses aim at supporting Africa's move towards the 2017 target of achieving a Continental Free Trade Area through enhancing the knowledge and analytical capacities of key stakeholders. They also provide a practical example of making use of existing synergies within the UN system with a view to “Deliver as One”.

The e-Learning courses will be available free of charge to Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations, policy makers, academia and development partners. All courses will be conducted through the Internet and mentored by experts. The e-Learning format involves moving the learning experience out of the traditional classroom and into the learner's world. It means participants will be able to benefit from UN ECA’s vast technical expertise in the area of regional integration, learn and engage in practical discussions with experts and with their peers at any time, any place and without geographical or scheduling barriers. 

The joint UN ECA-UNITAR e-Learning courses will be available from August 15, 2012. For additional information and registration, please see http://knowledge.africa-devnet.org.

For more information about other UNITAR e-Learning courses in the areas of public finance and trade, please visit: http://www.unitar.org/pft/event.