2 August 2012

Africa: UN Calls for Economic Diversification in Africa

Agro-industry and economic diversification are the best ways for Africa to achieve prosperity, the director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has said.

"Agriculture is the most important African economic sector and it's this sector that will enable the continent to get out of poverty.

Agriculture employs 65 percent of the active population and represents 75 percent of the internal trade," Kandeh Yumkella told the press on Wednesday. He was speaking in Kinshasa during a meeting with African finance ministers, directors of national central banks and representatives of development agencies. "Africa is equally experiencing rapid urbanization.

In order to transform these promising prospects into job creation opportunities for the young people, Africa should diversify its economy," he added.

Yumkella pointed out the need to reinforce the continent's agricultural productivity to guarantee sustainable development of agro-industry, with the ultimate objective of

creating wealth and jobs. "The capacity of transformation of agricultural raw materials into industrial products will depend more and more on the African entrepreneurs and

their willingness to respond to the competition at the local, regional and international level. The African industry should therefore adapt to the changing market trends,

constantly improve its efficiency and start to think of future consumer needs in a global economy," Yumkella said.The director general urged African countries to invest in

strategic sectors such as the infrastructure, transport, energy and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), to promote the development of agro-industry.

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