Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for Africa Industrialization Day, to be observed on 20 November:
On this year’s Africa Industrialization Day, we are highlighting the crucial role of job creation and entrepreneurship in eradicating poverty.
Although Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies — with growth across a variety of sectors — too many people are still being left behind. The region is affected by widespread unemployment — particularly among youth. Many, especially women, are engaged in vulnerable forms of work with low and unstable pay.
As we strive to meet the Millennium Development Goals and shape the post-2015 agenda, we must address the challenges of joblessness, youth unemployment and the shortcomings of a large informal economy. By focusing on job creation, entrepreneurship and the promotion of small and medium enterprises, we can boost inclusive and sustainable industrial development across the continent.
Africa’s economic dynamism, young population and potential for innovation form the foundation for stronger and competitive industries. As we mark this fiftieth anniversary year of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations renews our commitment to Africa’s development and the African Union’s efforts to achieve inclusive growth.
Let us work together to foster job creation and entrepreneurship throughout the continent as critical ways to build a more prosperous and sustainable future for all.