Abidjan, Cote D' Lvoire — THE sixth joint Annual Meeting of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development opened here on Monday with a consensus that it is time for Africa to industrialize.
In his opening speech, Cote d'lvoire President Dr Alassane Ouattara said it is paramount that Africa takes bold steps to industrialize, to accelerate economic growth and benefit millions of people living in poverty in the continent. Dr Ouattara said his country has clear National Development Plan focused on the path of industrialization and make it an emerging economy by 2020.
He said his government's strategic plan focuses on doing more in mining and energy sector to produce low cost and affordable energy to the public of Cote d'lvoire. "This is a very important theme that will help Africa take bold steps to industrialize and address needs of its citizens, still wallowing in poverty," he explained underscoring the importance of political stability in realizing these goals.
The African Union AU meeting calls for Africa industrialization Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said although the continent has registered tremendous economic growth, it still faces challenges of poverty, unemployment and gender barriers.
Dr Zuma noted that more action is needed to achieve sustainable economic transformation that will benefit the majority living in poverty. She called for a study to look into the continued instability in minority of African countries such as Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, and Mali, to address the root causes of conflicts in a sustainable manner.
In his key note, the United Nations Under Secretary General and ECA Executive Secretary, Dr Carlos Lopez, apart from stressing the importance for Africa to industrialize, he warned over rapid growing population in some of the major African cities, including Dar es Salaam.