ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) on Monday called on African countries to craft development strategies that prioritize and promote a sustainable blue economy, green growth and smart cities.
"Digital technologies are propelling us into the fourth industrial revolution," the ECA said in a statement issued Monday, while emphasizing that "anthropogenic carbon emissions are changing our climate, triggering atypical fluctuations in weather conditions globally such as rises in temperature and increased risks of flood, drought and agricultural shocks."
"The result of this is a world that requires new strategies if development is to continue," it argued.
Noting industrialization to have been the major catalyst behind economies of the world's developed countries, the ECA also stressed that the traditional route to development is changing due to developments in digital technologies across the globe.
"Sustainability must be recognized and affirmed as central to sustainable development. African development strategies in this changing world must account for a sustainable blue economy, green growth and smart cities," the ECA stressed.
The ECA's call came ahead of the upcoming high-level continental economic conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on the state of sustainable industrialization and diversification of Africa, with particular emphasis given to developments in the digital era.
The conference of African finance ministers, which is part of the 53rd session of the Economic Commission for Africa, will be held under the theme "Africa's Sustainable Industrialization and Diversification in the Digital Era" from March 18 to 24 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the ECA announced on Monday.
According to the ECA, this year's edition of the conference of African ministers, among other things, will deliberate on digitization and its impacts, including the challenges and the means through which it is forcing a character makeover of the technology industry.
"The focus will be on how digitization is opening up opportunities in agriculture, services and clean energy, and how these can help spur the processes of industrialization and diversification, while providing options for adapting to climate change, including methods to ensure resilience," the statement read.
The discussions at the upcoming high-level ministerial meeting also expected to highlight Africa's endowment of clean energy potential, as well as the risks of expensive environmental damage, it was noted.
"The conference presents a call for action, and a chance for us all to take an active part in ensuring that Africa prepares adequately for the world ahead," the ECA said.