The African Union joined the rest of the continent on 20th November, 2023 to commemorate the African Industrialization Day under the theme: “Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization Through the Empowerment of African women in Processing for an Integrated Market”. The event in New York, was commemorated in the Mandela Hall of the African Union (AU) Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations.
Jointly organised by the African Union Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, (UNECA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the event brought together representatives of United Nations Member States, regional entities, and partner organizations of the UN system supporting Africa’s sustainable development.
Addressing participants during the commemoration, H.E. Amb. Fatima Kyari Mohammed delivered the AU, UNECA and UNIDO Joint Statement. Focus was put on the critical role women in processing play in various industries and service sectors, which has contributed significantly in agriculture, industry and tourism in Africa. Involving women is not only imperative for gender equality, it is also important in fostering accelerated socio-economic development.
The Joint Statement further underlines that, African women in processing have the potential to contribute in the implementation of the Agreement and Protocols of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This will be leveraged by coming up with a separate protocol on women focused on their involvement in intra-African trade through the AfCFTA. Their involvement will contribute not only to trade but also the areas of product diversification, spatial development, job creation, inclusive growth, and, among others, cross-border industrial clustering. From these, economic integration is an important lever for promoting inclusive sustainable industrialization in Africa. By fostering collaboration among African nations, Africa breaks down trade barriers. Africa is also better positioned to improve infrastructure and open more opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development which are critical to the attainment of both the UN SDGs and AU Agenda 2063.
““By collectively addressing gender disparities and providing equal opportunities for women in industrialization processes, we can accelerate Africa’s journey towards inclusive growth and sustainable development”. Concluded H.E Amb. Fatima Kyari Mohammed.
Other key speaker at the Commemoration of the African Industrialization Day include: H.E. Mr. Tarek Ladeb, Permanent Representative of Tunisia, on behalf of the Chair of the African Group to the United Nations in New York; Ms. Cristina Duarte, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa to the United Nations Secretary-General; Mr. Ralf Bredel, Director and Representative, Liaison Office New York, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and Ms. Yera Ortiz de Urbina, Deputy Director, Regional Commissions New York Office. They all emphasized on the need for Africa to amplify its industrial skills development, creation of opportunities for targeted industrial upgrading for women-owned enterprises, improved market access and also technology transfer in relevant productive sectors as well as supporting the framework and steps in advancing sustainable development in the continent.
It is worth recalling that, Africa Industrialization Day was announced on November 20 during the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 1989. Within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1991-2000), the United Nations General Assembly, in December 1989, also proclaimed 20 November as Africa Industrialization Day (AID) (A/RES/44/237). Since then, the United Nations System and partners hold events on this day throughout the world to raise awareness about the importance of Africa’s industrialization and the challenges faced by the continent.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).