The UN deputy secretary-general, Jan Eliason, on Saturday called for structural transformation in Africa.
He was speaking at the opening of the 7th joint meeting of African ministers of Economy and Finance and their colleagues of Planning and Development in the Nigerian federal capital, Abuja. It is on the theme, “Industrialization for inclusive development and transformation in Africa.”
Mr Eliason, who was the guest of honour of the Nigerian government, said that to achieve the plan outlined in the 2063 agenda, Africa must seize the opportunity and get industrialized.
“So far, Africa’s growth is accompanied by a transfer of resources in the productive sectors to the less productive sectors. That tendency should be reversed for a structural transformation of the economy for African countries,” he said.
“The growth in the industrial sector will create jobs, favour diversification, modernize the technology and help improve knowledge and means of information, as many essential factors for a radical transformation,” he said.
“Industrialization must also focus on policies that ensure the sustainability of the gains and guarantee the sharing of the profits between all components of the society; women, the youth and the marginalized groups should be taken into consideration,” he added.
On the Millennium Development Goals, Mr Eliason said “significant progress has actually been made, but much remains to be done.”
Held every year by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), the conference brings together governors from central banks and several leaders from the private sector.
It aims at giving decision makers a platform to outline concrete measures to be used as catalyst for the implementation of the Accelerated industrialization for development in Africa.