AUC's Africa Industrialization Day focuses on women, youths
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.