Africa is the continent of the future with many opportunities: UNIDO highlights key issues for its industrial growth

Africa is the continent of the future with many opportunities: UNIDO highlights key issues for its industrial growth

NIAMEY, 7 NOVEMBER - Africa is the continent of the future with many opportunities and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a partner to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals and the aspirations of Agenda 2063, said UNIDO Managing Director for the Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations and Special Representative for Africa, Fatou Haidara.

Speaking on behalf of the Director General of UNIDO, Gerd Müller and addressing the Joint Meeting of the African Union (AU) Ministers in charge of Industry and Economic Diversification held in Niamey, Niger, she said that Africa continues to UNIDO’s priority. She lauded the important role played by the Ministers as the anchor points for bringing a sustainable and transformative change on the continent.

Mentioning the current challenges--the effects of climate change, the food and energy crises, she recalled that these have hit the developing countries the hardest, especially Africa. The carbon emissions of the industrialized countries are many times more than the carbon emissions of Africa. “The Industrialized countries have a special responsibility for the consequences of climate change and the future of the planet,” she said.

Highlighting key issues for Africa’s Industrial growth, Haidara said that there was a need to promote regional and continental value chains within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. She mentioned the importance of knowledge transfer and investment promotion in agro-industry, leather, textile and pharmaceuticals, which have potential for growth and job creation. “UNIDO is here to help translate ambitions into actions and to create win-win situations between industrialized and developing countries,” she said.

Earlier during the week, a joint meeting of the AU Senior Officials in charge of Industry and Economic Diversification was held. “UNIDO supports multi-stakeholder partnerships for an inclusive and sustainable industrial development of Africa, in line with Agenda 2063 and SDGs.” said Managing Director, Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations and the Director General’s Special Representative for Africa, Fatou Haidara. She called upon the officials to utilize the consultations to design sound and visionary policies for the continent.

Speaking at the same event, Albert Muchanga, Commissioner African Union for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals said “there is need to re-galvanize political leadership for accelerated inclusive and sustainable industrialization. In this regard, the Commission proposes the nomination of an African President as Champion of Industrialization and Productive Transformation. The Champion will provide political leadership and spearhead efforts aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization of the continent in line with priorities of the AU agenda 2063.

Gourouza Salamatou, Minister of Industry and Youth Entrepreneurship, Republic of Niger said that “The organization of this First Joint Meeting of AU Senior Officials in charge of Industry and Economic Diversification under the theme "Industrialization of Africa: a Renewed Commitment to inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification" is a new forward-looking approach key to the continent’s industrialization strategy and process”.

The series of high-level meetings are in preparation of the forthcoming 17th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government on Industrialization, Economic Diversification and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), to be held in Niamey during the Africa Industrialization Week from 20-25 November, hosted by the Government of Niger. UNIDO is the co-organizer of the Summit and is leading 13 side-events. UNIDO’s event page contains the details of the Summit. UNIDO is also tasked with leading the implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) in cooperation with AU and other partners as per the United Nations General Assembly Resolution, passed in 2016.