ADDIS ABABA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has reiterated that Africa's economic transformation must be anchored on industrialization to achieve sustainable and inclusive development on the continent.
Over the last six years, ECA has focused a lot of efforts in support of Africa's industrialization agenda, whereby the continent has a comparative advantage through commodity-based industrialization towards addressing poverty, inequality, and unemployment, said Abdalla Hamdok, Acting Executive Secretary of ECA.
Hamdok made the remarks on Thursday at the opening of a two-day meeting, the 3rd session of Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development organized under the theme, "Ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth and prosperity for all."
The Acting Executive Secretary told Xinhua in particular that Africa's growth over the past years has had little impact on poverty and unemployment, underlining the need to industrialization.
Hamdok noted that lessons should be drawn from successful experiences from other countries such as China, which he said has addressed poverty significantly through industrialization.
"Over the years, particularly over the last 6-7 years, we have been focusing on the transformation agenda through industrialization; we believe Africa's transformation must be anchored on industrialization that is linked to Africa's main sectors, particularly the agriculture sector to provide forward and backward linkages," he noted.
"The assurest way of moving the continent forward on this is to embark on industrialization process that will allow us to create jobs, allow us to address other challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality," he said.
"China's experience of lifting more than 600 million out of poverty went through this industrialization," said Hamdok.
He also highlighted that trade plays a vital role in Africa's economic growth performance, and it has the potential to promote trade induced industrialization.
Speaking during the opening of the Forum, Mothae Anthony Maruping, AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, reiterated the need for investment in strengthening production capacity and in the private sector development towards attaining inclusive and sustainable development.
The Commissioner also underlined the need to enhance trade, both intra-Africa trade, and trade between Africa and the rest of the world.
African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development brings together government representatives, private sector, and civil society among others to exchange views and ideas and sharing lessons in the implementation of the agenda 2030 on sustainable development goals, and also Agenda 2063 for Africa.
The forum is expected to come up with an outcome document that will be shared in the UN high-level political forum in New York in July.