AUC's Africa Industrialization Day focuses on women, youths

Martial De-Paul Ikounga
Martial De-Paul Ikounga | Contributed photo
In an effort to promote awareness of Africa's growing industrialization and the challenges the continent is facing in that regard, the African Union Commission partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the government of Egypt to hold the commission's 21st annual Africa Industrialization Day recently in Cairo, Egypt.

The theme of this year's event was “Developing SMEs for Poverty Eradication and Job Creation for Women and Youth." SMEs are small- to medium-size enterprises.

African governments have put in place economic goals they aim to reach by 2063.

“Africa Industrialization Day should be celebrated as a summit attended by heads of state to make the important initiative of Agenda 2063 a reality,” Martial De-Paul Ikounga, AUC commissioner for human resources, science and technology, said.

The opening address was presented by Nassirou Ba, UNECA's economic affairs officer, who encouraged government officials to consider moving their countries' industries to manufacturing from traditional resource-based processes to spur job creation. Ba also urged business owners to educate themselves on new technology advances and to put them to use to boost not only their own bottom lines, but also those of the continent as a whole.

“When you have economic power, you can make decisions and choose for yourself,” Ba said.

Giovanna Cegile, director of UNIDO's regional office in Egypt, agreed, saying growth in the SME sector would lead to better jobs for Africa's women and young people.

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African Union Commission

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