Press Releases

    19 November 2004

    Secretary-General Calls for Steps to Unleash Africa’s Productive Energies, in Message on Africa Industrialization Day

    NEW YORK, 18 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on Africa Industrialization Day, observed on 20 November:

    The theme of this year’s observance of Africa Industrialization Day is “Strengthening Productive Capacity for Poverty Reduction within the Framework of NEPAD”.

    Sustainable industrial development can be a major tool in the fight against poverty and hunger.  Sound macroeconomic policy and good governance are part of the essential environment, as are trading opportunities for Africa’s products and investment, both domestic and foreign.  But even these would not be enough if we do not also concentrate specifically on unleashing Africa’s productive energies.

    That means paying greater attention to human resources through better health, education and training.  It means developing Africa’s private sector, by rewarding entrepreneurship and linking small- and medium-sized enterprises with regional and global supply and “value” chains.  And it means making more frequent and creative use of public-private partnerships, in order to build up basic infrastructure and technological capacities.

    The New Partnership for Africa’s Development recognizes the importance of industry in promoting employment and raising incomes, and in contributing to social stability post-conflict reconstruction.  Last July at the summit of the African Union, the African Productive Capacity Initiative was launched as the industrial component of NEPAD.  Still in its early stages, the initiative is designed to increase the output of manufactured goods and put policies in place that will encourage sustainable industrial development.

    On this year’s Africa Industrialization Day, let us reaffirm our support for this initiative and for Africa’s broad efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  The United Nations system, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, will continue to do their part.

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