Africa must ‘open the door’ to sustainable industrial development – UN official

10 October 2013

The head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has stressed that the agency’s strong focus on inclusive and sustainable industrialization can help bolster the continent’s efforts to achieve long-term growth and development.

“It is so important for Africa to find a tool to open the door of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in order to take off during the next decades,” Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO, said in a statement, summing up his first visit to Africa since taking office.

He stressed that “today, the world needs a development model that ensures prosperity for all, safeguards human dignity and provides jobs for young people.”

During a meeting with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, who is Chairman of the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government, the Director General said that UNIDO attached great importance to the continent’s development in general and to assisting the least developed countries in particular.

In Addis Ababa, Mr. Li also met the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; the Deputy Chairperson, Erastus Mwencha; and the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Fatima Haram Acyl; as well as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Carlos Lopes.

During his visit, the Director General shared his vision for the future of UNIDO with African ambassadors and permanent representatives to the AU Commission in the context of the continuing deliberations about the future Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda.

He reaffirmed UNIDO’s commitment to continue its strong support for the countries of Africa through technical cooperation and advisory services based on the concept of inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

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