AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has joined partners with the African Union Commission, African governments, United Nations agencies and development finance institutions in a bid to renew support for the industrialization of African countries.

The agencies have also agreed to undertake and implement joint programmes for increased development impact, especially in mobilization of adequate resources to enable full implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa.

In 2016, the AfDB together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and UN Economic Commission for Africa developed an ambitious Industrialize Africa strategy that aimed at more than doubling the continent’s industrial GDP.

“We believe it is about time for Africa’s industrialization. Let me restate that the ‘Africa rising’ story is still alive and well,” said Amadou Hott, AfDB’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, in remarks he delivered on behalf of the Bank President.

In this new deal, the partners include the African Development Bank, African governments, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Under Secretary General, Special Advisor on Africa, ECA, UNIDO, private sector organizations and development finance institutions.

The UN General Assembly highlighted the need for the continent to take “urgent action to advance sustainable industrialization as a key element of furthering economic diversification and value addition, creating jobs and thus reducing poverty and contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

“Africa’s industrialization is of great importance to the international community. Successful implementation is key”, said Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO while he stressed the need to translate the promises into concrete action in which responsibility is shared by all stakeholders. “It is in the world’s best interest.”

“Africa needs to industrialize more, and at a faster rate,” he said, stressing how industrialization is critical to Africa’s realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, also said the new deal offers a great opportunity to lead to improvement industrialization, leading ultimately to poverty reduction.

“Renewed partnerships are important to drive Africa out of poverty,” he added.

“Greater regional integration is critical to industrialization,” said Amina Mohammed, who represented the UN Secretary General, as she stressed the need to move from political declarations to implementation, especially in the individual countries.

She also said that Africa and its partners need to find funding for the initiatives and added why education and skills acquisition should play a key role in industrialization.

The Commissioner of Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission, Albert Muchanga, talked about the importance of industrialization and encouraged partners to ensure the benefits reach Africans at the lowest level.

He commended the AfDB for its planned African Investment Forum and pledged to work with the Bank to promote investment on the continent.

On behalf of the private sector, the Executive Director and CEO of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole stressed why the partners and governments should move from talking to working.

“Without the implementation of the IDDA III, there is no way the world can meet the SDGs,” he said. “It is time for us to take action.”

September 22, 2017