Remarks by President Buhari at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)’s side event titled: ‘Operationalization Of The Post-2015 Development Agenda For African Industrialization’ at the 70th UN General Assembly on Saturday September 26 in New York.
Heads of State and Government,
Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Mr. Li Yong for inviting me to speak at this event. Industrialization of Africa is the necessary catalyst for the continent’s sustainable development.
2. This dialogue on “Operationalization of the post-2015 development agenda for Africa’s industrialization” comes at the threshold of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. To attain the goals of the SDGs, it is critical that Africa’s industrial ambition be driven by the combined strategies at national and regional levels to ensure real growth and economic prosperity.
3. Africa’s industrialization has always been on the radar of the United Nations. I recall that the United Nations dedicated the year 1980 to1990 and more recently, 1991 to 2000 as the first and second Industrial Development Decades for Africa. These steps reflect the committed support of the global community to Africa’s industrial vision. But we are all aware that expectations for Africa’s industrialization have fallen well below targets for a variety of reasons.
4. Our job, therefore, is to learn from the lessons of these failures and shortcomings so that the next attempt under the SDGs will meet with better results.
5. Accordingly, we must renew this commitment together for ownership in delivering the next targets in the context of SDGs. We need to collectively mobilize the support of the national and international institutions, not least the private sector and investment initiatives towards achieving the goal of advanced industrialization of Africa by 2030.
6. The African Union has equally taken a strong lead in supporting African countries in the quest for industrial progress on the continent. It is from this perspective that African leaders at the African Union Summit in January 2015 adopted the African Union Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want. This plan for transformation is geared towards growth and industrialization of our economies based on development of local resources. In addition, the Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa is the core for the industrialization vision for the continent.
7. Africa is determined to achieve a set of actions for the sustainable industrialization of the continent, taking full advantage of its rich endowment of natural resources. Of great significance is the long standing commitment of African Leaders to advance regional integration in Africa as an overriding vision.
8. To this effect, Nigeria is strongly committed to advancing the accelerated implementation of the African Union Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa as a vehicle to deliver industrialization to our continent.
9. For us in Nigeria, we are placing emphasis on diversification of our economy using Small and Medium Enterprises, energy and mining sectors and agro-allied industries. Specifically, we can attest to the viability of small businesses to boost growth and create more jobs for the youth and serve as the precursor of full industrialization
10. Nigeria and many other African countries, are facing power shortages which have impacted negatively on our growth potential. Industrialization cannot take place without reliable energy infrastructure. We are, therefore, working on a comprehensive overhaul of our power industry.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
11. For industrialization to be attained, Africa must adopt practical policies and strategies. We need to safeguard the interest of local production in an era of rampant globalization. We also need to enhance regional and cross border cooperation.
12. We in Nigeria commend the good work of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) through its Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development Plan for developing countries, and the African Union for providing a framework for implementing decisions.
13. Finally, I call on all African countries, development partners and the organized private sector to embrace collaboration for Africa to achieve full industrialization by 2030. This is our ticket to shared prosperity.
14. I thank you.