11 November 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, in Message for Africa Industrialization Day, Says Helping


Region Build Capacity for Economic Integration is Collective Challenge


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for Africa Industrialization Day, to be observed on 20 November:

This year’s Africa Industrialization Day comes at a time of economic difficulty across the world, and as the continent’s share of the weakened global economy remains disproportionately low.  Africa’s manufacturing output was only 0.9 per cent of the global total in 2008, and its primary commodities still account for more than half the value of its exports.

The theme for this year’s observance, “Competitive Industries for the Development of Africa”, underlines the need to increase international cooperation in order to unleash the continent’s potential.  We know that processing Africa’s agricultural and mineral resources will yield higher-value products that can help integrate the continent into the global economy.  Our collective challenge is to assist Africa in building capacity to do this.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization continues to support an implementation strategy for the African Union’s Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa.  Success will depend on resources from African countries and their partners.  Mobilizing these resources and using them wisely is all the more critical during this period in which the global financial crisis has reduced demand for Africa’s exports, constricted foreign aid and slowed the flow of remittances from the diaspora.

Africa is not the only continent affected when its economy suffers.  In today’s interconnected world, poverty and instability reverberate far and wide.  A sustainable approach to industrial development in Africa can help uplift societies, protect the environment and contribute to a better world for all.

On this Africa Industrialization Day, I urge greater support for the continent’s efforts towards a greener and more prosperous future.

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For information media • not an official record