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UN chief calls for industrial development in Africa

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday stressed the need to boost international cooperation to enhance Africa’s industrial developme n t.

He noted in a message to mark Africa Industrialization Day, that the continent’s development could contribute to a better world for all.

The Pan African News Agency (PANA) reports the theme of this year’s day is: “Com petitive industries for the development of Africa”.

Ban also stated that “the continuing global economic crisis has reduce demand fo r African exports, constricting foreign aid, and hinders the flow of remittances ” .

He, however, said that Africa’s share of the weakened global economy remained “d isproportionately low”.

“We know that processing Africa’s agricultural and mineral resource will yield h igher-value products that can help integrate the continent into the global econo m y,” he said.

According to him: “Our collective challenge is to assist Africa in building capa city to do this.”

Ban said that the UN Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) support for t he African Union’s plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa wou l d depend on African countries and their partners.

The UN chief also stressed the need for greater support for Africa’s push toward s “a greener and more prosperous future”.

“A sustainable approach to industrial development in Africa can help uplift soci eties, protect the environment, and contribute to a better world for all,” he sa i d.

Meanwhile, in their joint statement to commemorate the day, the heads of the Afr ican Union Commission, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and UNIDO cal l ed for the creation of “competitive industries, as a way for promoting Africa’s d evelopment”.

They also noted that, in recent years, many African countries had undertaken com prehensive policy reforms aimed at creating a conducive policy environment for i n dustrialization and development in general.

“While prudent policies are critical for development, they on their own do not p resent sufficient condition for stimulating a strategic and sustainable developm e nt process. Instead, a multitude of other conditions must also be met,” their st a tement said.

PANA recalled that the UN General Assembly in 1989 proclaimed 20 November as Afr ica Industrialization Day.

The Day is meant to mobilize the commitment of the international community to th e industrialization of Africa.

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