‘Government should mobilise public, private financing for industrial growth’
To transition into a prosperous continent with inclusive and sustainable growth, emphasis should be placed on mobilizing public and private financing for greater impact, considering that the key to the financial and structural transformation of Africa’s economy lies in industrial development, the Director-General , United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), LI Yong, has said.
According to him, the Organisation is working with the African Union to increase technical assistance to Nigeria and other African countries as part of renewed efforts to promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) within the continent.
LI Yong disclosed on Monday, during his message to mark the 2016 Africa Industrialisation Day (AID) themed: “Financing industrialisation in Africa: Challenges and winning strategies”.
He said: “This year marks the 50th anniversary of UNIDO. We are proud and motivated to see that within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDG 9 focuses directly on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation, which lies at the core of UNIDO’s mandate. This is a statement of international awareness of the critical role of industrialisation.
“It reaffirms the urgent need to significantly raise industry’s share of employment and GDP, in line with regional and national development priorities of the African continent. UNIDO is closely collaborating with the African Union to scale up its technical assistance delivered to African countries in order to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization.
“Both institutions have formulated the “Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa” (AIDA), a strategy that aims to mobilize financial and non-financial resources to increase Africa’s competitiveness, generate employment and ultimately eradicate poverty.
“Furthermore, the African Union, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, the Economic Commission for Africa and UNIDO are working hand in hand for the implementation of the third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), which was adopted by the Seventieth Session of the UN General Assembly on 25 July 2016.
“In this respect, the critical role of industry for sustainable development in Africa is even more central. Unconditional support of African governments will be of utmost importance to realize our common goal of putting the continent at the forefront of the world’s economic transformation.”
He reaffirmed UNIDO’s commitment towards leveraging its global expertise to attract investment and promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in Africa.
He said, “Indeed, the stability of financial institutions at all levels and better legislation will facilitate private sector growth by granting access to funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as women and youth entrepreneurs, who are the economic and social backbone of many African Countries. UNIDO remains fully committed to apply its vast experience and technical expertise to support the African continent with innovative policy design to facilitate investment and build an enabling business environment. This initiative is supported by UNIDO’s programmes and projects, including the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) to overcome gaps in global partnerships.
“We are confident that the combined actions of Africa’s governments and their development partners, including development finance institutions and the private sector, will mobilize most needed resources and accelerate the continent’s sustainable industrialization for the wellbeing of its people”.
In his message, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said, “Advancing Africa’s economic competitiveness, creating shared prosperity and safeguarding the continent’s environment will require a strong and stable business environment based on good governance and the rule of law that is conducive to domestic and foreign investments.
“In addition, the countries of Africa will need to pursue greater regional integration. And, to make these efforts lasting and far-reaching, Africa will need to be fully integrated into the global economy through fair and open trade. These are the keys to fulfilling the pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.”
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