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Participants at a high-level event held on 26 September 2015 at the  United Nations headquarters in New York, voiced strong support for the  industrialization of Africa as a way forward to implement the  Sustainable Development Goals.

The organizers of the event, the African Union  Commission (AUC), the Office of the Special Advisor to the UN  Secretary-General on Africa (OSAA), the UN Economic Commission for  Africa (UNECA), and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),  issued the following joint communiqué:

“Africa has seen remarkable economic growth since the  turn of the millennium. It has become the second fastest growing region  in the world and continues on this path despite the persistent global  economic slowdown. There is still need to accelerate annual economic  growth to more than 7 per cent to effect real economic transformative  growth. To be sustainable and inclusive, this progress must now be  accompanied by structural transformation, which remains the only option  to lift the people of Africa out of poverty. To fully benefit from its  rich natural resources and to reap the benefits of the demographic  dividend, Africa must industrialize. Heavily investing in the training  and education of women and youth is indispensable. In order to achieve  inclusive and sustainable industrialization, we must embark on a skills  revolution particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering  and mathematics.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and  Sustainable Development Goal 9 recognize the centrality of inclusive and  sustainable industrialization for development. African leaders made a  bold statement towards inclusive growth and sustainable development in  their own Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda  and the African Union’s 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration, culminating  in the Africa Agenda 2063, and its First Ten Year Implementation Plan.  Many African countries have already proceeded to formulate national  strategies to take advantage of the current global momentum for  fostering inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

In this context, the African leaders attending the  High-level event on “Operationalization of the 2030 Agenda for Africa’s  Industrialization” called upon the international community to raise its  financial support in line with Goal 9 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable  Development, and to back industrial and infrastructural projects  underpinning this development, especially as articulated under  Aspiration 1 of the Africa’s Agenda 2063, which calls for a prosperous  Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. In  particular, they called upon the private sector to recognize Africa’s  export and domestic market potential, and invited foreign investors to  substantively increase their commitments to the continent. They also  called upon international organizations to provide industrial policy  advice and technical cooperation programmes to enable African countries  to implement their strategies and to forge stronger regional and  inter-regional cooperation. They emphasized the urgency for all  countries to promote structural transformation, technological change and  innovation.

Regional Economic integration, intra-African trade,  increased foreign direct investment and official development assistance,  and South-South and triangular cooperation will be fundamental pillars  of this process. UNIDO’s new Programmes for Country Partnership, the New  Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the African Mining Vision  and the Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of  Africa (AIDA) are promising mechanisms for mobilizing multi-stakeholder  coalitions to promote industrialization. As also witnessed during the  Third International Conference on Financing for Development, and the  adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, emphasis should continue to  be placed on inclusive economic growth and sustainable industrial  development.

Now that the world has adopted the 2030 Agenda, we  invoke all stakeholders to join forces and form a new global partnership  for its implementation, particularly for the most vulnerable countries  in Africa, including for the LDCs, the LLDCs and the SIDs. We need to  seize this historical moment and take substantial steps collectively to  achieve the transformative agenda of inclusive and sustainable  industrial development for the benefit of all countries and their  populations on the continent.

The AUC, OSAA, UNECA and UNIDO fully commit themselves  to support Member States in their calling upon the General Assembly to  pass in 2016 a resolution for a Decade of African Industrialization  2016-2025.”