UN chief calls for ‘green and clean’ development in Africa

FILE PHOTO: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a press conference in a past event./ Getty

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on African leaders to pursue economic growth that benefits both the people and the planet.

Guterres made the appeal in his message for Africa Industrialization Day, observed annually on 20 November.

“I call on African countries to adopt a holistic approach to industrial policy, pursuing, through stronger multi-stakeholder partnerships, green and clean industrialization strategies that promote equitable economic opportunities and take into account the urgency of addressing the climate crisis,” said Mr. Guterres.

The U.N Chief’s remarks come as Africa is on the path of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, whose operational phase was launched at the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU), which was held from 7 – 8 July 2019.

The AfCFTA is expected to create a market for over a billion people, with a GDP of approximately US$2.6 trillion.

Various leaders have hailed the AfCFTA, terming it a game changer in Africa’s trade sector.

Guterres underscored international commitment to Africa’s sustainable development, with the U.N. General Assembly proclaiming the period from 2016-2025 the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa.