U.N. urges Africa to embrace Agro-forestry and economic diversification

In Africa, agriculture is said to offer employment to over 65 percent of the active population-majorly composed of the youth- which represents the internal trade in the region. Speaking during a meeting held in Kinshasa, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Kandeh Yumkella said, “Agriculture is the most important African economic sector and it’s this sector that will enable the continent to get out of poverty. Africa is equally experiencing rapid urbanization. In order to transform these promising prospects into job creation opportunities for the young people, Africa should diversify its economy.”

The meeting was attended by African Finance Ministers, Directors of National Central Banks and representatives of various development agencies. Yumkella said that Africa stood a chance of making tremendous achievements if at all agro-industry and economic diversification would be enhanced in all parts of   the continent. By doing so, employment opportunities would arise and thereby solve the looming problem affecting merely all African states.

“The capacity of transformation of agricultural raw materials into industrial products will depend more and more on the African entrepreneurs and their willingness to respond to the competition at the local, regional and international level. The African industry should therefore adapt to the changing market trends, constantly improve its efficiency and start to think of the future consumer needs in a global economy,” Yumkella added.

In order to ensure that achievement of his proposals were made possible, the Director General urged all African states to consider making investments in their strategic sectors such as energy, transport, infrastructure and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which according to him are vital foundation platforms in the agenda.

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