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Netherlands, South Africa preach women empowerment, sustainable development

By Ngozi Egenuka
25 November 2021   |   3:46 am
Kingdom of Netherlands and South Africa have harped on the need for infrastructure, women and youth empowerment so as to achieve sustainable development in Lagos.

The Kingdom of Netherlands and South Africa have harped on the need for infrastructure, women and youth empowerment so as to achieve sustainable development in Lagos.

This was disclosed at the Lagos State Investment Roundtable, themed ‘Attracting Investment for Economic Recovery’.

Consul General, South Africa, Darkey Africa, stressed the need to address the plight of young people and women who account for nearly 90 per cent of the labour force in the informal sector and 85 per cent of economic activities in Africa.

“Our focus in investment strategies must not overlook this reality. We are committing ourselves to ensure that the education, sales and health development indicators given by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are realised,” he said.

According to him, the youth constitute the multi force of the societies, so unless their concerns are addressed and abilities deployed in productive activities, Africa would be unable to benefit from them.

Africa noted that the International Trade Fair, which held last week in South Africa, was put together to restore investment opportunities in Africa and provide the platform to advance the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“We are here to address poverty, unemployment, inequality and under development. We are here to reflect the new development plan,” he added.

Consul General, Kingdom of Netherlands, Michel Deelen, noted that though there are challenges in Lagos state, there are still visible changes owing to the states investment in people.

He said that using sustainable development goals as a basis for investment is the right path as it ensures development is achieved.

“Investment in people and infrastructure is essential. I am pleased that this forum is found on the framework of SDG, because before you know it, you would only think of revenue, dividends, stock exchange and others, but here we are talking about the people.

Deelen noted that Dutch has always been in Lagos, and its presence can be seen through major companies operating in the state.