UN tasks Africa on Industrialisation

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

By Joan Nwagwu

Mr Ban-Ki Moon, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, on Monday in Abuja urged African governments to embrace transformative policies that would encourage industrialisation in Africa.

The UN scribe made the call at the 2016 Africa Industrialisation Day with the theme: “Financing Industrialisation in Africa: Challenges and Winning Strategies’’.

He said that Africa’s combined Domestic Product grew by an average of 4.7 per cent a year and was slightly slowed in 2015 due to low commodity prices, financing condition and droughts.

Moon was represented by Mr Reuben Bamidele, National Programme Officer, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

“For this year’s Africa Industrialisation Day, we are raising awareness of the importance of mobilising financing for inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.

“To accomplish this, Africa nations need to embrace transformative policies that will encourage the growth of the private sector, facilitate entrepreneurial initiatives, increase investment and generate durable partnerships.

“Investors need to see the benefits of financing the region’s programme, projects, businesses and human resources,’’ he said.

He said that advancing Africa’s economic competitiveness, creating shared prosperity and safeguarding the continent’s environment would require a strong and stable business environment.

He said that economic environment that was based on good governance and the rule law was conductive to domestic and foreign.

The UN secretary general, however, said that Africa countries would need to pursue greater regional integration that would ensure that the efforts are lasting and far-reaching.

He added that Africa needed to be fully integrated into the global economy through fair and open trade as this was the keys to fulfilling the pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.

Also Mr LI Yong, Director-General, UNIDO, said African leaders must mobilise public and private financing for greater impact in the continent and the world.

Yong said that the key to financial and structural transformation of Africa economy laid on industrial development as strongly reflected in the Africa Union’s Agenda of 2063.

He said that stability of financial institutions at all levels and better legislation would facilitate private sector growth by granting access to funding for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

“Currently, the majority of African countries rank in the bottom third of the Doing Business index published by the World Bank.

“If African economies are to experience robust and inclusive economic growth, there is need for change,’’ he said.

He added that UNIDO was collaborating with the Africa Union to scale up its technical assistance delivered to Africa countries in order to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.

The Industrialisation Day is marked on Nov. 20 of every year as declared by UNIDO.

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