African States Guided on Growth

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has officially opened the main session of the Seventh Joint Annual Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development with a message for African States to renew their commitment to enhance economic development through industrialisation.

The conference being held under the theme ‘Industrialisation for inclusive and transformative development agenda, was preceded by an experts’ session at which Zambia was represented by Ambassador to the African Union Commission (AUC) Susan Sikaneta.

And Ms Sikaneta has urged Africa to utilise the vast water bodies it has to develop agriculture into a vast industry that would promote job creation and food security.

Dr Jonathan emphasised the need for the continent to pursue the issue of industrialisation for economic aancement and gave the example of Nigeria itself where the country, despite having steady economic growth like many African States, still did not generate enough jobs for the masses.

He said Africa was now the second fastest growing economy in the world and could not afford to rest but ensure that structural transformation continued to be the main feature on its agenda.

Dr Jonathan said there was still a lot to do but that the shared vision could be achieved if countries were committed to working together.

Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said in her address that Africa was ready for the next step in its transformation and that countries wanted to speak with one voice in aancing a people-centred development agenda.

UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) executive secretary Carlos Lopez said in order for Africa to grow and transform, it needed to have a clear understanding of the times and be innovative in the business of transformation.

Dr Lopez said if Africa’s aim was to become “a prosperous and integrated continent in peace with itself”, its negotiating stance needed to be consistent with – and supportive of its transformative agenda, as envisioned for 2063.

And Ms Sikaneta said during a plenary session that Africa needed to focus on developing agriculture as a driver of transformative development.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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