Following is UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ message for Africa Industrialization Day, observed on 20 November:
Industrial development is of critical importance for sustained and inclusive economic growth in African countries. This year’s Africa Industrialization Day marks a milestone as we highlight how the African Continental Free Trade Agreement will boost regional economic transformation and sustainable development.
Africa’s manufacturing has been growing faster than the world average, but this pace needs to gain even more speed. With the new trade agreement ushering in a market of at least $3 trillion and a consumer base of more than 1.3 billion people, Africa’s manufacturing sector is projected to double in size by 2025 and create millions of jobs.
I call on African countries to adopt a holistic approach to industrial policy, pursuing, through stronger multi‑stakeholder partnerships, green and clean industrialization strategies that promote equitable economic opportunities and take into account the urgency of addressing the climate crisis.
The Third Industrial Decade for Africa, proclaimed by the General Assembly, shows the commitment of the international community to Africa’s path toward sustainable development. The United Nations remains strongly committed to accelerating these efforts and to working with Africa to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.