UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Africa, saying it is critical for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Guterres stated this in his message for the 2018 Africa Industrialisation Day, themed: ‘Promoting Regional Value Chains in Africa: A pathway for accelerating Africa’s structural transformation, industrialisation and pharmaceutical production’.
Africa Industrialisation Day is marked annually on November 20, to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the continent with regard to industrialisation.
The event also aims to mobilise both African leaders and international organisations to advocate for the accelerated and sustainable industrialisation of Africa.
The UN chief said: “Inclusive and sustainable industrial development is critical for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Africa.
“It generates jobs, reduces poverty, hunger and inequality, empowers women, expands opportunities for young people, while also improving health, safeguarding the environment and tackling climate change.
“This year’s Africa Industrialisation Day focuses on promoting regional value chains and underscores how industrial development in local pharmaceutical production contributes to healthy lives and well-being”.
According to him, the development of a competitive and sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Africa could help promote better health and well-being and sustainable economic growth.
He said the availability of high quality and affordable medicines could alleviate serious public health issues, while the local production, export, and distribution across regions benefit the creation of jobs and income.
“Responding to the needs of the African continent requires strategic partnerships, particularly with the private sector, to promote regional value chains, ensure investments, and enhance access to know-how and technologies.
“On Africa Industrialisation Day, I reaffirm the strong commitment of the United Nations, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in particular, to strongly promote Africa’s industrial development as a key driver for realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”