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AfDB, AU, UN agencies pledge more action for Africa’s industrial transformation

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has joined partners from the African Union Commission, African governments, key United Nations agencies and development finance institutions to renew support for African countries’ industrialisation.

The partners have also agreed to undertake and implement joint programmes for increased development impact, especially in the mobilisation of adequate resources to enable the full implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).

The commitments were made at a high-level event on the ‘Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2025): From political commitment to actions on the ground’ held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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

‘We believe it is about time for Africa’s industrialisation. 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.

The partners in this new deal include the African Development Bank, African governments, the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Under Secretary General, Special Advisor on Africa (OSAA), ECA, UNIDO, private sector organisations and development finance institutions.

On July 29, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution proclaiming the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). By the terms of the resolution, the General Assembly called on the AU Commission, NEPAD, ECA and specifically UNIDO ‘to develop, operationalize and lead the implementation of the programme for the Third Decade, in accordance with its mandate and through voluntary contributions.’

The UN General Assembly then highlighted the need for the continent to take “urgent action to advance sustainable industrialisation 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.”

To ensure successful implementation of the proclamation, the African Development Bank and partners used the side event to work towards effective mobilisation of adequate resources to enable full implementation of IDDA III.

Director General of UNIDO Li Yong stressed the need to translate the promises into concrete action in which responsibility is shared by all stakeholders.

‘Africa’s industrialisation is of great importance to the international community. Successful implementation is key,’ he stressed. ‘It is in the world’s best interest.’

The President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, said the new deal offers a great opportunity to lead to improvement industrialisation, leading ultimately to poverty reduction. ‘Africa needs to industrialise more, and at a faster rate,’ he said, stressing how industrialisation is critical to Africa’s realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

‘Renewed partnerships are important to drive Africa out of poverty,’ he added.

The Director General of the FAO, José Graziano Da Silva, pledged FAO’s commitment to the industrialisation of Africa, and pledged his organisation’s support for the partnership.

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