The statement was made by the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Claver Gatete, who spoke on the first day of the 2023 African Economic Conference that is addressing this and other issues.
Ethiopian President Saleh-Work Zewde, in turn, said that the continent must address climate change, political instability and conflicts, which can be destructive to economic growth and human capital, and threaten social development.
Zewde called to redouble the efforts to achieve a robust industrial sector that can withstand external shocks, and recalled that dependence on foreign manufacturers threatens Africa’s development.
The conference’s agenda included an address by Stephen Karingi, director of the ECA Regional Integration and Trade Division, who said that the promise of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) is to unite African economies.
Karingi pointed out that the AFCFTA would create a market for 1.5 billion people to promote trade that requires the member States’ political will.